NewsReportsJanuary 31, 2023

BHRC publishes new report on judicial independence in Hong Kong SAR applying ABA Judicial Monitor Toolkit

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BHRC has today released a Special Report on Judicial Independence in Hong Kong SAR, which applies the ABA Judicial Independence Monitor Toolkit designed to assess vulnerabilities and strengths of judicial independence in different jurisdictions. The BHRC report concisely and authoritatively sets out the current situation and critical challenges to judicial independence in Hong Kong for members of the judiciary, the legal profession, and civil society (as at December 2022).

In recent years, the imposition of the Hong Kong National Security Law on Hong Kong by Beijing has fundamentally changed the constitutional landscape with profound implications for the legal system and for fundamental freedoms and human rights in Hong Kong. Throughout this report and in the recommendations which are annexed to it, BHRC reiterates its call for:

The repeal of national security laws which fail to respect the separation of powers doctrine that is so central to the One Country, Two Systems framework;

Ensuring full transparency, meritocracy, and integrity in the appointment of judges;

Guaranteeing the independence of the legal professional bodies and practitioners and non-interference with the freedom of members of the legal profession; and

Safeguarding those who take on sensitive political cases from harassment, intimidation and attacks in line with the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers established by the United Nations (1990), among other recommendations.