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Published: 14:17, November 29, 2022 | Updated: 18:09, November 29, 2022
'NPCSC interpretation to clarify NSL intent, plug loopholes'
By William Xu
Published:14:17, November 29, 2022 Updated:18:09, November 29, 2022 By William Xu

Photo taken on June 29, 2020 shows a billboard on the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in Central area in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government’s bid to seek a legal interpretation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong will clarify the legislative intent of the law and plug loopholes that external forces may use to endanger national security, political dignitaries and groups said.

The city’s biggest labor union, the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, also released a statement firmly supporting the SAR govt’s seeking an NPCSC interpretation, saying it is a necessary move to ensure that national security and Hong Kong's interests are effectively protected

Their remarks came after city Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu submitted a national security report to the central government. In the report, he requested the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) issue an interpretation in accordance with Article 65 of the National Security Law for Hong Kong, to clarify whether overseas lawyers who are not qualified to “practice generally” in Hong Kong should be allowed to engage in national security cases in the city.

ALSO READ: NPCSC interpretation of National Security Law imperative

Maria Tam Wai-chu, deputy director of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Basic Law Committee under the NPCSC, believes Lee’s move will help clarity the National Security Law’s legislative intent and its relationship with other local laws, and also prevent external meddling in Hong Kong affairs.

Tam said the SAR government’s proposal came after the Court of Final Appeal handed down its judgment. The judicial and executive branches have played their respective roles, and thus the whole matter is in accordance with the judicial process in Hong Kong, Tam added.

READ MORE: CE to request NPCSC to interpret National Security Law

In a statement released on Monday, the city’s largest political party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said allowing overseas legal practitioners to join national security cases violates the legislative intent of the NSL, and it raises questions on whether the case can be tried fairly in accordance with the law.

External forces may also take it as an opportunity to intervene in Hong Kong's national security cases, posing additional risks to safeguard national security in the SAR, the DAB said.

ALSO READ: SAR asks NPCSC to interpret national security law

The city’s biggest labor union, the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, also released a statement firmly supporting the SAR government’s seeking an NPCSC interpretation, saying it is a necessary move to ensure that national security and Hong Kong's interests are effectively protected.


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