Date
18 December 2017
Lawrence Lok is tearing into China's white paper on Hong Kong, calling unnecessary. Photo: HKEJ
Lawrence Lok is tearing into China's white paper on Hong Kong, calling unnecessary. Photo: HKEJ

Heavyweight HK barrister blasts white paper

An influential Hong Kong barrister is calling China’s white paper on Hong Kong redundant and said he will join a protest against it with his lawyer daughter, as well as a mock referendum on electoral reform, Apple Daily reported Friday.

Lawrence Lok, a member of the Electoral Affairs Commission and a heavyweight in Hong Kong legal circles, also accused Hong Kong Law Society chairman Ambrose Lam of unprofessional conduct for mouthing Beijing’s line that all justice officials in Hong Kong are subject to Chinese patriotic standards.

(Lok is an in-law of Lam Hang-chi, founder of the Hong Kong Economic Journal.)

Some society members are gathering signatures ahead of a planned no-confidence motion against Ambrose Lam, according to Metro Daily.

The white paper, which spells out China’s policy on Hong Kong for the first time since the 1997 handover, asserts Beijing’s full authority and control over Hong Kong and says the central government is the source of its promised high degree of autonomy under the “one country, two systems” doctrine.

The document has heightened tensions in Hong Kong ahead of Friday’s planned referendum organized by Occupy Central, a civil disobedience movement.

Separately, lawyers are planning a protest march against the white paper for June 27. 

Paul Shieh, chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association, is sitting out the protest but said members can join of their own free will, according to Apple Daily.

Edwin Choy, a criminal law and procedure committee member of the association, said he will participate if he is not in court.

However, members of the Small and Medium Law Firms Association, said there is no conflict between judicial independence and loving the country,the report said.

Kevin Yam, a member of the Law Society’s constitutional affairs and human rights committee, said the society is keeping a neutral stance but condemned Lam’s comments. However, he said it’s doubtful a no-confidence motion against Lam will pass.

Participants in next Friday’s protest plan to wear black to dramatize their rejection of the white paper.

Among the expected attendees are Democratic Party founding chairman Martin Lee, Denis Chang, legislator and former Civic Party leader Audrey Eu, Civil Party leader Alan Leong, Civic Party founding member Gladys Li and Civic Party executive committee member Ronny Tong, the report said.

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