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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

Chief Executive Carrie Lam today said there are no particular restrictions on judges to be selected by the Chief Executive as part of the future group to adjudicate national security cases.

Mrs Lam, ahead of the Executive Council meeting this morning, made the statement in response to concerns over the nationality of judges who will be designated to handle such cases.

She said: “Under the Basic Law there are only two positions in the Judiciary that have a nationality requirement, that are the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal and the Chief Judge of the High Court.

“That’s why I said that while many people have been advocating that only Chinese-citizen judges should adjudicate over national security cases, this is simply not quite realistic because we do not know how many judges now sitting on the bench have foreign nationality.”

Mrs Lam explained that judges in Hong Kong are appointed on the basis of their judicial and professional qualities.

“So with those safeguards in place, the answer should be obvious: there are no particular restrictions on the judges to be designated by the Chief Executive on to the future group to adjudicate these national security cases.”

Noting that the Court of Final Appeal has 15 judges who came from the UK, Canada and Australia, Mrs Lam emphasised that Hong Kong is blessed with a large number of distinguished foreign judges sitting on the court.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News