Australian judge James Spigelman resigns from HK’s top court, citing concerns over national security law

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According to the government gazette published today, Spigelman’s appointment had been withdrawn on September 2.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.

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.


林鄭撤銷終院外籍非常任法官施覺民委任 特首辦:施官請辭無提原因 澳記者引述施覺民:與國安法有關