Legislator Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee stated that “separation of powers” is a “brainwashing trick” by the former British colonial government and officials from now on should always remind its citizens that Hong Kong “never had separation of powers”.
The Legislator said so during the discussion of the appointment of Lord Patrick Hodge, Deputy President of the UK Supreme Court, as the non-permanent judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal in the meeting of Legco Subcommittee on Proposed Senior Judicial Appointments today (October 28).
Dennis Kwok Wing-hang, pro-democracy Civic Party legislator representing the Legal Functional Constituency believed that Lord Hodge is a suitable candidate for the post and supported the appointment for the legal profession. He also urged the government to actively search for more senior judges overseas to serve in Hong Kong to highlight a close link of Hong Kong with other common law jurisdictions.
Meanwhile, Kwok criticized Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor for denying the “separation of powers” which casted doubts worldwide on the rule of law in Hong Kong.
Regina Ip of the pro-governement New People’s Party rebutted the claims from Kwok. She stated that Hong Kong never had “separation of powers” as the colonial Governors were also the Presidents of the Legislative Council for a long time while the government had full control of the legislature. “Separation of powers” was just a “brainwashing trick” by the colonial government towards the handover of Hong Kong. Calling Kwok’s comment as “nonsense”, Ip reckoned not only the Chief Executive, but all SAR officials should always remind citizens that Hong Kong never had “separation of powers”.
Another pro-government legislator Junius Ho Kwan-yiu suggested that Hong Kong should appoint judges from different countries such as South Africa, India and Malaysia to “broaden the scope of appointments”.
Holden Chow Ho-ding and Elizabeth Quat from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) concerned whether the oversea judges “correctly” understand “One Country, Two Systems” and the Basic Law. Chow queried if they do not have an accurate understanding, the judges will disturb the constitutional order of Hong Kong.
After a two-hour discussion, the agenda was supported by most members and the agenda will be passed to the Council Meeting for final deliberation.