The new chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Affiliation wants the federal government to amend the sweeping countrywide security legislation to encourage international locations to reinstate their extradition agreements with the metropolis.
Paul Harris SC, a veteran human legal rights barrister, expressed concern that some of the provisions of the new protection laws, imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong in late June last yr, appeared at odds with rights confirmed beneath the Standard Regulation, the city’s mini-structure.
He also pledged to do his finest to bolster the rule of law, which he explained as acquiring “a hard time” in Hong Kong.
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Harris was elected unopposed on Thursday as the association’s new chairman, succeeding Philip Dykes, who was in the position for 3 yrs. Harris will be assisted by two deputies, Anita Yip and Erik Shum Sze-gentleman.
Upon his election, Harris reported he would campaign for variations to the national stability regulation simply because the suspension of extradition agreements would make it much easier for fugitives to go close to.
“We should really recall that at the second a whole lot of countries have suspended extradition agreements with Hong Kong, which suggests a murderer can avoid justice by going to Hong Kong from London or from Hong Kong to London,” he reported.
“I hope to check out irrespective of whether there is any chance of acquiring the governing administration to agree to some modifications to that countrywide protection legislation that will enable extradition preparations to be reinstated. I don’t know if that would be possible, but it is what I am heading to do the job toward.”
He also stated he was “particularly worried” about some provisions in the laws that appeared to place some officials “over the regulation”.
He cited as an illustration Posting 60 of the regulation, which spares mainland countrywide protection officers from police research, inspection and detention, although carrying out their obligations in the town.
Report 55 of the law also states that a suspect could be sent to demo on the mainland if the situation is deemed advanced or significant due to the fact of the involvement of a overseas nation or exterior things.
“It is a tricky time for the rule of regulation in Hong Kong,” Harris stated. “I am a man or woman who is deeply committed to the rule of law.
“That means on the one hand, I really don’t like violent demonstrators, and on the other hand, I you should not like the authorities that abuse their energy. I will be striving in my phrase to reinforce the rule of regulation anyplace I can.”
Harris also claimed he was “completely appalled and disgusted” above assaults on judges.
Born in England, Harris was educated at Lincoln Higher education, Oxford. He was admitted to the Bar in Britain in 1976, and was called to the Hong Kong Bar in 1993. His observe has been mainly in constitutional and administrative regulation.
In Hong Kong, he also started Human Rights Monitor, the city’s key human rights advocacy organisation.
Harris is fluent in Cantonese, French, German, and Spanish and routinely translates legal files from those people languages. He is an Associate of the Institute of Translators and Interpreters.
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