onsdag 18. august 2021

Hong Kong's Leader Warns Lawyers to 'Stay Out of Politics'

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday warned a lawyers' professional association that it should stay out of politics, while calling on civil society organizations to disband if they cross political "red lines" laid down by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

"Professional organizations should engage in activities related to their professions ... but if they get hijacked or taken over by politics, then the Hong Kong government will have no choice but to terminate its relationship with that organization," Lam told reporters. "If politics is allowed to override professionalism, including at the Law Society, then the government will consider terminating the relationship," she said.

The Hong Kong government has typically sought legal opinions from both the Law Society, which represents solicitors, and the Bar Association, which represents barristers, during consultation exercises. The professional bodies also play a role in recommending legal professionals for certain top jobs in statutory bodies or consultancies. But Lam's comments came after the CCP's official mouthpiece, the People's Daily, referred to the Law Society as a "running rat," warning it not to allow itself to get "politicized" ahead of Aug. 24 leadership elections.