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Australia Australian James Spigelman resigns as judge of Hong Kong appeals court over new national security law

12:12  18 september  2020
12:12  18 september  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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Distinguished former judge James Spigelman resigns from Hong Kong 's top appeals court as Beijing intensifies Mr Spigelman says he resigned over Hong Kong 's new national security legislation. Australia has joined several other Western nations condemning the new national security law

Hong Kong , September 18 (ANI/Sputnik): Australian Judge James Spigelman has resigned from the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal over the new national security law , the administrative region's government announced on Friday. "It is hereby notified that, the Chief Executive the Honourable

Distinguished Australian former judge James Spigelman has resigned from Hong Kong's top appeals court as Beijing intensifies its crackdown on the semi-autonomous city.

The Chinese Government has introduced contentious new security laws which are designed to punish dissent and stifle advocacy of democracy or independence in Hong Kong.

Mr Spigelman told the ABC that he resigned for reasons "related to the content of the national security legislation" but did not elaborate further.

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Hong Kong ’s government has said the national security law does not affect the city’s judicial independence after an Australian judge resigned from the local top court earlier this month, citing The distinguished judge told Australia ’s national broadcaster that his resignation was linked to

HONG KONG /SYDNEY—One of the 14 foreign judges on Hong Kong ’s highest court has resigned due to concerns over a sweeping new national security law imposed The office of the city’s leader Carrie Lam confirmed the resignation of Australian judge James Spigelman but did not give a reason.

A Hong Kong Government announcement published on Friday said his position was "revoked" earlier this month, but did not provide any reasons why.

A statement from the Hong Kong Government provided to the ABC later said that Mr Spigelman "tendered to the Chief Executive on 2 September his resignation as a Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal".

"Therefore the Chief Executive revoked his appointment in accordance with the relevant legislation.

"Mr Justice Spigelman did not give any reason for his resignation."

Mr Spigelman's resignation came the day after Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam told reporters that the city did not have any meaningful separation of powers between the legislature, executive branch and judiciary.

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The sweeping new national security law that China imposed on Hong Kong , aimed at stamping out opposition to the ruling Communist Party in the Conceived in secrecy and passed on Tuesday without serious input from Hong Kong authorities, the law sets up a vast security apparatus in the territory

Ms Lam also emphasised that the Chinese Government in Beijing retained ultimate authority over Hong Kong.

Those comments stoked fear in Hong Kong's judiciary, which was already anxious about the rapid erosion of the rule of law under the new security laws.

The Court of Final Appeal was established after the United Kingdom handed Hong Kong back to the Chinese Government, and employs several non-permanent judges from Commonwealth nations.

Former Australian High Court chief justices Robert French and Murray Gleeson, as well as former High Court judge William Gummow, are still serving on the Hong Kong court.

While its jurisdiction is limited, it remains the last avenue of appeal for litigants in the city, which has been rocked by turmoil over Beijing's crackdown.

One Hong Kong lawyer told the ABC that the court could become embroiled in political controversy as it might preside over the trials of protesters and dissidents arrested under the new legislation.

Australia has joined several other Western nations condemning the new national security law, calling it a flagrant breach of the "One Country Two Systems" model agreed to by China when the UK relinquished control of the territory.

Mr Spigelman had a long career on the New South Wales bench, serving as the state's chief justice for 13 years. He was also chairman of the ABC until 2017.

He had served on the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal since 2013 as a non-permanent judge. His current term was not due to expire until 2022.

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