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British judges resign from Hong Kong court
(Pic: Shutterstock)

07 Jun 2024 / global news Print

British judges resign from Hong Kong court

Two British judges have resigned from Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal (CFA).

A statement from the territory’s judiciary said that Lord Collins and Lord Sumption (small picture), who sat as non-permanent judges on the court, had tendered their resignations to the region’s chief executive.

Lord Collins, in a statement to the media, said that he was resigning “because of the political situation in Hong Kong”.

He added, however, that he still had “the fullest confidence” in the court and the total independence of its members.

Earlier this year, Amnesty International described a new security law introduced in Hong Kong as “draconian”, while last year, an EU report said that developments in Hong Kong cast doubt on China’s commitment to the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ in the territory.

‘Commitment to rule of law’

Chief Justice Andrew Cheung of the CFA said that he noted “with regret” the resignations.

Under the law governing Hong Kong, the power of final adjudication is vested in the CFA, which can invite judges from other common-law jurisdictions to sit on the court.

“Over the years, overseas NPJs [non-permanent judges] – including Lords Collins and Sumption – have made valuable contributions to the work of the court, for which we in Hong Kong are very grateful,” Cheung stated.

He reiterated the judiciary's commitment to upholding the rule of law and judicial independence in Hong Kong, adding that the court would continue to appoint judges from overseas common-law jurisdictions.

Cheung added that the CFA’s operation would not be affected by any change in membership of the court.


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