Guardian Report: New Hong Kong barristers’ chief warns profession to stay out of politics

Make of this what you will but we think, in the main, the barristers have folded…they did last longer than most parts of HK civil society but the Beijing juggernaut, was, in the end, going to mow them down along with everybody else.

Will they be in a position to challenge the next set of National Security laws? That will be the key question or will they all just pretend they are working hard and pile in as much money on commercial work until Beijing dispenses of Barristers who they will use words about like “troublemakers” and “anachronism of a colonial system” etc etc

The Guardian

The newly elected leader of Hong Kong barristers says that his profession should avoid politics and build closer ties to mainland China, as concerns grow about rule of law in the financial hub.

The Hong Kong Bar Association has been a vocal defender of human rights and its previous leader had criticised a Beijing-imposed national security law, drawing fierce condemnation from Chinese officials.

Western governments have imposed sanctions against officials over the security law, which they say has trashed Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy, and begun transforming the city into a mirror of the authoritarian mainland.

Victor Dawes, who ran unopposed for the bar association’s top job, told reporters on Thursday that the group’s top concern was upholding rule of law, which he said was “not a political concept”.

“For political topics, that is not something the bar association should handle or discuss.”

In 2019, the professional group had actively opposed an unpopular extradition bill, a bill that sparked Hong Kong’s largest and most violent democracy protests in decades.

Beijing later imposed the national security law that quashed dissent and reshaped the city’s legal landscape.

Dawes said he understood why some people would be pessimistic about the city’s rule of law, but said barristers still had a key role to play.

“Personally I don’t believe the rule of law is dead,” he said.

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