onsdag 8. juli 2020

Like a signal No 8 typhoon, the national security law directly hit Hong Kong just before midnight on July 1, leaving us to pick up the pieces. One of those pieces is its interpretation. Some have asked why bother as it is like other Chinese laws – vague and open to manipulation through interpretation by the authorities. Only the National People’s Congress Standing Committee appears to have the
power to interpret the law. Let the political struggle continue, they say.

As a law professor and practitioner, I find such a defeatist attitude unhelpful. Cases under the new law
have commenced. Lawyers need to advise on it and courts must apply it in adjudicating cases. The law is upon us and we cannot sit idle in fear, waiting for some authority to tell us what it means. In affirming our autonomy, questions of interpretation should be carefully considered on our own in accordance with existing legal practices and principles.