Ambrose Lam, president of the Law Society of Hong Kong, has suggested that it may be better for young law students to steer clear of the Occupy Central protest movement in the city.
He cautioned the students that if they are convicted for participating in the protest, it could put a black mark on their personal records and affect their prospects for higher studies overseas, migration and the chance to become professional lawyers. Lam, however, hastened to add that his comments should not be construed as sending a warning to the youngsters, Ming Pao Daily News reported.
The law society chief said on Monday that Eddie Ng Hak-kim, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Education, will ultimately be responsible for safeguarding the interests of students amid the Occupy Central movement.
Meanwhile, Benny Tai, founder of the Occupy Central group, slammed Lam’s comments. Supporting the campaign does not mean one has to take part in civil disobedience, Tai said.
Legislator Dennis Kwok from the Civic Party said it was not right for Lam to assess the Occupy Central movement from a single standpoint. He noted that the British court of final appeal said in a ruling of a case in 2006 that civic obedience has a longstanding and glorious history in the city.
Meanwhile, Apple Daily reported that Lam’s comment that there should be a legal definition on being patriotic has also come in for criticism, including from members within the legal sector.
Kwok said it is unfortunate that the president of the law society has said something that was totally illogical. Lam’s comments have echoed the viewpoint of Secretary for Justice Rismky Yuen, who has sought to uphold the white paper released by Beijing earlier on the “one country, two systems”, Kwok noted.
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