Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (Front) and International Finance Center are seen in Hong Kong, south China, March 2, 2017. Photo:Xinhua
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government should look into the judges who support the anti-extradition force and jeopardize the integrity of the judiciary in Hong Kong, outspoken pro-establishment legislator Priscilla Leung said during a recent Legislative Council meeting.
Three anonymous judges claimed that the now withdrawn extradition bill posed serious challenges to the city’s legal system, according to a Reuter reported in May.
The three judges pointed out at that time that the extraditions based on presumption of a fair trial and humane punishment “contradicted” the legal system in the Chinese mainland, the media report said.
Besides the three anonymous Hong Kong judges, Judge Patrick Li Hon-leung’s signature was also seen on a petition lodged by alumni of the University of Hong Kong on May 26, urging the government to withdraw the proposed amendment, according to a report by the South Morning China Post.
“Publicly showing their tilting opinion on the extradition bill would raise concerns over whether the judges’ attitude would influence their judgement,” Leung said.
Leung urged Hong Kong SAR judges to sign a statutory declaration stating they are not among the three anonymous judges. A statutory declaration can have legal effect.
Leung is not the only legislator who has raised concerns about the ultimate neutrality of judges. Regina Ip, the chairperson of the New People’s Party, has accused some judges of lacking judicial professionalism and holding very biased political beliefs, according to local media reports.
So far, the protests in Hong Kong have entered the 23rd week.