The Law Society of Hong Kong (LSHK) has passed a no-confidence motion against its president Ambrose Lam following the latter’s recent comments backing Beijing’s white paper on Hong Kong.
At an extraordinary general meeting Thursday, Law Society members voted to remove Lam from his position, marking the first such move in the society’s 108-year history, Apple Daily reported.
The no-confidence motion was initiated by three members, including the LSHK’s constitutional and human rights committee member Kevin Yam. All three became emotional as the voting result was declared.
The no-confidence motion was triggered by Lam’s comments supporting the State Council’s recent white paper on the “one country, two systems”, which asserted Beijing’s complete jurisdiction over Hong Kong.
Lam had said that he does not see anything wrong with the white paper’s insistence that judges should be “patriotic”.
The motion against Lam was passed with a significant margin, with 2,392 votes in favor and 1,478 votes against.
Yam said he was very pleased to note that there are still many lawyers in Hong Kong who stand by their principles. Lawyers can now take pride in their profession, he said.
But he said it is sad that the internal affairs of the LSHK have drawn interference from various external parties, including the mainland judicial departments, which had reportedly contacted representatives of global law firms in Beijing in a bid to put pressure on Hong Kong’s legal sector.
Yam urged all lawyers to remain on high alert to protect the rule of law of Hong Kong.
He called upon Lam to respect the voting results and resign as LSHK president.
Lam said he hopes the saga comes to an end, but has refused to comment on whether or not he will resign. He insisted that there were no winners or losers in this incident. The official added that he would prefer to adopt a low profile in order to uphold the unity of the LSHK.
The special meeting Thursday was attended by over 700 LSHK members, with another 2,000-plus members voting through proxy. Observers had expected Lam’s camp to prevail in the voting, so the voting results came as a shock to many, the report noted.
Beijing seen backing Lam over no-confidence vote (Aug. 14, 2014)
Heavyweight HK barrister blasts white paper (June 20, 2014)
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