Mainland judicial departments have reportedly contacted representatives of global law firms in Beijing and solicited their views on the no-confidence vote faced by Law Society of Hong Kong president Ambrose Lam, Apple Daily reported on Thursday.
Kevin Yam, a member of the Law Society’s constitutional and human rights committee who initiated the motion of no confidence, said the central government is trying to apply pressure on the local legal sector.
An unnamed lawyer at the multinational law firm said his colleagues in Beijing have asked the Hong Kong office for instructions as to how to answer the judicial departments’ inquiries.
The lawyer said law firms are business entities and as such, they hold no views on the matter. Lawyers are free to express their personal views, but the firm will not ask what their views are and has no intention to reply to such queries from judicial departments in Beijing.
The no-confidence motion was triggered by Lam’s comments supporting the State Council’s white paper on the “one country, two systems” policy on Hong Kong. He said the white paper’s insistence that judges should be patriotic would not undermine the rule of law.
Yam said he has heard of fellow lawyers getting pressure from mainland-based clients to support Lam, and this would only prompt more people to support the bid to remove him from office.
Yam said his colleagues were put off by Beijing’s efforts to back Lam and have since agreed to support the no-confidence vote.
The voting will be held during an extraordinary general meeting of the Law Society tonight at the Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai, the report said.
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