法政匯思就北京回應香港高等法院有關禁蒙面法判決的聲明 (Statement on Beijing’s Reaction to High Court’s Mask Ruling)

香港高等法院於2019年11月18日裁定香港特區政府引用《緊急情況規例條例》(下稱《緊急法》)禁止市民於公眾地方蒙面的規例「不符合基本法」,並強調該於2019年10月5日起生效的規例過分地限制基本權利及自由。(On 18 November 2019, the High Court ruled that the Hong Kong SAR government’s ban on face coverings in public places under the Emergency Regulations Ordinance (the “ERO”) was “incompatible with the Basic Law” and that the new law, which had gone into effect since 5 October, imposed excessive restrictions on fundamental rights and freedoms.)

The Fate of Hong Kong’s Christians

Christians in Hong Kong overwhelmingly support the mass protests that have disrupted the region for the last two months. Millions, including many Christians, have taken to the streets to protest a proposed extradition bill.

Umbrella Movement 2.0 exposes flaws in “one country, two systems”

The Progressive Lawyers Group explains the current law does not allow mainland China to extradite suspects from Hong Kong, but once the amendments are made, anyone who is considered a suspect by mainland China can be sent to the Chinese court, regardless of nationality, as soon as they set foot in Hong Kong.

The Express Rail Co-location Case: The Hong Kong Judiciary’s Retreat

PLG member Alvin Cheung writes: "The independence and relevance of Hong Kong’s judiciary may now be in doubt [...] Interventions from Beijing are likely to dictate outcomes to Hong Kong’s courts not only in cases directly involving political rights, but also cases that involve major policy initiatives such as public infrastructure projects."

Hong Kong journalists’ club in free speech dispute

A fringe pro-independence party and a historic journalists’ club have been thrust into the forefront of the intensifying battle over free speech and the rule of law in Hong Kong, a semi- autonomous Chinese territory that has long prided itself on its civic freedoms.

‘Tool of suppression’: 38 groups urge Hong Kong gov’t to withdraw Chinese national anthem bill

Thirty-eight civil society groups (including the Progressive Lawyers Group) and political parties have urged the Hong Kong government to withdraw a national anthem bill, arguing that it violates citizens’ rights to fundamental freedoms.

Lawfare Waged by the Hong Kong Government Is Crushing the Hopes of Democrats

Law is being used to silence the democracy movement in Hong Kong.

One in three pro-democracy legislators has been prosecuted by the government since the Umbrella Movement of 2014. More than 100 democracy activists and protestors have been prosecuted. The secretary of justice has constantly sought to maximize sentencing, slapping years of jail time on young students and digging up obscure, outdated charges – designed for 19th century Britain, not 21st  century Hong Kong – to increase the time that pro-democracy figures spend in jail.

‘Worst precedent since handover’: Lawyers hit out at gov’t’s legal justification for joint checkpoint rail plan

Progressive Lawyers’ Group has once again voiced its concern over the controversial joint checkpoint arrangement for the high speed rail link, saying that it remains unconvinced by the government’s legal justification.

Beijing’s ‘distortion’ of Hong Kong Basic Law greatly undermines rule of law, legal experts warn

On Wednesday, China’s top legislature – the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) – approved the plan following a unanimous vote and months of controversy. Hong Kong will effectively surrender its jurisdiction across a quarter of the new West Kowloon terminus, where immigration procedures will be performed by mainland law enforcement agents. Beijing’s “distortion” of the Basic Law in justifying the Express Rail Link’s joint checkpoint arrangement has greatly undermined Hong Kong’s rule of law, legal experts have warned.

【法政巴絲】北風繼續吹

//一直以來,中央和香港政府對香港人的民意置若罔聞,香港人積累不滿只是自然而然。香港球迷「噓」國歌,只是屬於皮毛的表象而已。國家不尊重人民,人民又如何尊重國家?以法律強逼人民愛國,就像北風要吹走人的外衣一樣,只會把人趕跑。// - 方翊 @ 法政巴絲

Looming national security laws raise fresh fears for Hong Kong’s freedoms

Amid calls from Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing elite for sweeping new national security laws, government advisers and lawyers say the legislation is likely to be tougher than proposals shelved 14 years ago, raising fears about the city’s cherished freedoms.

Those demanding urgency for the long-delayed Article 23 are using a fledgling independence movement in the former British colony as justification – even though the independence debate would have been allowed when Article 23 was first proposed in 2003.

Lawyers, diplomats and activists fear the new pressure could lead to legal “overkill” in an open city already struggling with increased interference from Beijing’s Communist Party rulers.

Transport chief defends transparency of co-location plan

Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan said the government has been doing its best to make the co-location deal between Hong Kong and mainland China as transparent as possible.

He dismissed criticism that the co-location arrangement is a “black box” operation, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports. Barrister Chris Ng Chung-luen, a spokesperson for the Progressive Lawyers Group, said Hong Kong courts might refuse to accept any challenge against the plan once it is approved and endorsed by the NPCSC, to the detriment of ”one country, two systems”.

法政匯思就有關高速鐵路香港段一地兩檢安排的陳述書 (Submission on Express Rail Link Co-Location Arrangement)

政府最近宣佈其就内地-香港高速鐵路香港段的邊境管制安排及管轄權事宜的方案。簡單而言,政府建議於西九龍站設置邊境及海關管制設施的一地兩檢安排,及内地在西九龍站若干範圍內及所有運作列車上擁有刑事管轄權。法政匯思認為該建議明顯及直接違反《基本法》的多項條款,特別是第17、18、19及22條。就政府方案如何違反《基本法》的詳細分析,詳見中文版完整陳述書。(The Government has recently announced its proposal on the border control arrangements and jurisdictional matters in relation to the Mainland-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (“XRL”). In short, the Government proposes a co-location arrangement of border and customs control facilities at West Kowloon Station and the Mainland to have criminal jurisdiction to be exercised at some areas of West Kowloon Station and on all operating trains. The Progressive Lawyers Group (“PLG”) is of the view that such proposal is in clear and direct contravention of numerous provisions of the Basic Law, in particular, Articles 17, 18, 19 and 22. For the detailed analysis of how the Government's proposal violates the Basic Law, please read further.)

對政府建議一地兩檢方案的法律問題 (FAQs on Hong Kong Government’s Co-location Proposal)

法政匯思就政府建議高鐵香港段實施一地兩檢為大家準備了常見問題解答,以供參考。(Progressive Lawyers Group has prepared a list of FAQs on the Government's proposal on co-location arrangement at the West Kowloon Terminus. Please take a look!)

一國兩制是唯一的崎嶇出路

今個月,我在《明報》觀點版(8月2日與8月16日)刊登了兩篇以推論形式解釋為何港獨不可行的文章。我的基本結論就是,港獨在可見的將來不可行,嘗試達成只會更快毁滅香港;就算港獨能發生,都只會是短暫及獨裁,或最終成為中國的附庸國(vassal state)。

Third concern group set up on Hong Kong’s controversial border plan for China rail line; coalition insists it is legal

It is the third concern group to be set up on the issue as both sides of Hong Kong’s political divide mobilise campaigns for and against the proposal for joint immigration and customs checks in the city. Kevin Yam Kin-fung, convenor of the Progressive Lawyers Group, said the Hong Kong government’s decision to use Article 20 of the Basic Law to lease land to mainland authorities could set a dangerous precedent.

「阻住做生意」的一地兩檢

政府一地兩檢方案推出後,不少人把焦點放在能否在高鐵用社交媒體、內地人員在西九持槍、香港與內地刑法的分別。這些問題雖然搶眼,但普羅市民會說「不乘搭高鐵就可以了」或「去到羅湖都是這樣的」。建制派會說,可以討論把在西九與高鐵車廂內適用的內地法律收窄,以此把整個違反《基本法》的一地兩檢合理化。

法政匯思:「我無犯法,因為我就是皇法。」

一地兩檢之於基本法之弊,許多有識之士均作出了詳盡的解釋,在此不贅。

「方案」推出後,各界、尤其是法律界人士紛紛以基本法為基礎指出其一地兩檢「方案」如何與基本法、一國兩制背道而馳——而所謂「方案」,你我心照,根本上可算是定局,無法回頭。儘管這些日子來,那些大量分析如何合理、如何一語中的,林鄭和我們本該捍衛法治憲法的律政司司長的一句「方案符合基本法」,配以擦鞋都來不及的一眾護主黨說得振振有辭的一堆歪理、指鹿為馬,就要使一個嚴重損害香港法制的一地兩檢上馬。為了官方聲稱、那少得可憐的「便利」,就把香港的地域主權雙手奉上,這筆數如何計,無人算得懂。

民主派成立一地兩檢關注組 批政府方案誤導公眾要求撤回

「一地兩檢」關注組共有94名發起人及團體代表,包括民間人權陣線、法政匯思、香港社會工作者聯會及12間大專院校學生會。關注組成員、立法會前議員吳靄儀表示,高鐵一地兩檢方案有違《基本法》,連日來政府的解畫是「理屈詞窮」,不斷胡言亂語以租客、業主比喻,或是《基本法》第7條、第20條等作解釋。她聲言,在香港心臟地帶實施內地法例違犯《基本法》18條,故要求當局撤回方案。

一地兩檢關注組成立記者會

法政匯思成員吳宗鑾今日出席了一地兩檢關注組成立記者會。一地兩檢關注組是由多名民主派立法會議員、學者、民間團體(包括法政匯思)、多間大專院校學生會等組成。

(Progressive Lawyers Group member Chris Ng attended the Co-location Concern Group‘s inaugural press conference today. The Concern Group is set up by pro-democracy lawmakers, professionals, academics, civic organisations and student bodies.)