「雙學三子」被上訴庭改判入獄6至8個月，案件引起國際關注。英國工黨執政期間、曾出任大法官（Lord Chancellor）及司法大臣的范克林（Charles Falconer） 勳爵，南非憲法法院前大法官Richard Goldstone聯同各地法律界權威發表公開信，批評囚禁黃之鋒等三名學生領袖的決定，並指香港的法治現在面臨嚴峻的威脅。
信任由12名著各法律界權威聯署，包括曾出任大法官（Lord Chancellor）大臣及司法大臣的范克林勳爵。代表劉曉波的美國律師Jared Genser、英格蘭及威爾斯大律師公會人權委員會主席御用大律師Kirsty Brimelow、以及在前南斯拉夫總統米洛舍维奇屠殺罪行案擔任主控官的御用大律師Geoffrey Nice、加拿大著名人權律師David Matas、曾領導聯合國加沙衝突調查的南非憲法法院前大法官Richard Goldstone、曾獲聯合國委任調查及檢控塞拉利昂及敘利亞等地戰爭罪行的御用大律師Desmond De Silva、馬來西亞律師公會人權小組主席Andrew Khoo、馬爾代夫前民選總統Mohamed Nasheed等。
As lawyers, we regard the imprisonment of Joshua Wong, Alex Chow and Nathan Law in Hong Kong as a serious threat to the rule of law and a breach of the principle of “double jeopardy” in Hong Kong – in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
These student activists led the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong in 2014 – one of the most peaceful public protests the world has seen. Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow were already punished by a court a year ago. Joshua and Nathan respectively served 80 and 120 hours of community service, and Alex received a three-week suspended sentence. Yet the Hong Kong government decided to reopen the case and sought tougher punishments.
The law under which they were charged, the Public Order Ordinance, has been criticized by the United Nations for “facilitat[ing] excessive restrictions” to basic rights, and is incompatible with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which applies to Hong Kong. Human rights organisations have long urged Hong Kong to revise the ordinance to comply with the ICCPR.
Serious concerns over the independence of the judiciary arise. Court of Final Appeal judge Kemal Bokhary warned of “storm clouds” over the judiciary five years ago. Hong Kong’s judges want to protect its independence, but they face increasing pressure from Beijing. In 2014, China issued a White Paper declaring that Beijing has “comprehensive jurisdiction over Hong Kong” – instead of “the high degree of autonomy” provided for in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s constitution. China also announced that Hong Kong’s judges are merely “administrators” who must love the country and be "subject to oversight by the central government”. The independence of the judiciary, a pillar of Hong Kong, risks becoming a charade, at the beck and call of the Chinese Communist Party.
Hong Kong’s rule of law and basic freedoms, at the heart of the principle of “one country, two systems”, now face grave threats.
Kirsty Brimelow QC
Patrick Burgess – President of Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR)
Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE QC
Sir Desmond De Silva QC
Lord Falconer of Thoroton QC – former Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
Jared Genser – Freedom Now
Justice Richard Goldstone (South Africa)
Andrew Khoo (Malaysia)
David Matas (Canada)
Michael Mansfield QC
Rajiv Menon QC
Sir Geoffrey Nice QC – former chief prosecutor in the trial of Slobodan Milosevic