James Spigelman, a veteran Australian judge, has resigned from the Court of Final Appeal as a non-permanent judge two years before his term was set to expire.
According to the government gazette published today, Spigelman’s appointment had been withdrawn on September 2. A spokesman for Chief Executive’s office said Spigelman did not give any reason for his resignation. The Judiciary had no further comment to add to Spigelman’s resignation.
However, Stephen Dziedzic, a reporter from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) revealed on his Twitter that Spigelman’s decision was prompted by the contents of the national security law. Stand News tried to contact Spigelman for comments.
Breaking - I've confirmed that distinguished Australian jurist James Spigelman *resigned* from the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal earlier this month. He says his decision was "related to the content of the national security laws" passed by Beijing 1/— Stephen Dziedzic (@stephendziedzic) September 18, 2020
Spiegelman, 74, was born in Poland. With an arts and law degree from the University of Sydney, he was called to the bar in 1980 and promoted to Queen’s Counsel in 1986. In 1997, he became the acting deputy attorney general of New South Wales. He was the Chief Justice of New South Wales from 1998 to 2011.
Spigelman was appointed Chairman of the ABC in 2012, and in 2013, he was appointed one of the non-permanent judges at Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal. Consisting of four Australian non-permanent judges including Spigelman, there are altogether 14 overseas non-permanent judges in the Court of Final Appeal.