Statement regarding Mrs. Anson Chan’s Resignation as Director
Aristotle said: “It is better for the law to rule than one of its citizens, so even the guardians of the laws are obeying the laws”. Dr Thomas Fuller put this still more pithily in 1733: “Be you never so high, the Law is above you - a favourite quotation of Lord Denning’s.
The nuts and bolts of the Rule of Law
Under "One country, Two systems", what we get is the emphasis of "One country". Are we allowed even to discuss or to campaign for the maintenance of our system or is that prophylactically dangerous for national security? Who knows? This is the reality of the power of interpretation. This is what we, as a community, and we, as lawyers, face, and this is the greatest danger, as I see it, to the Rule of Law in Hong Kong.
The Rule of Law and Its Importance to Hong Kong
What’s going to happen after 2047 when the fifty year period covered by the Sino-British Joint Declaration expires? Will our lawyers and judges have to unlearn everything and embrace instead a different system of laws and practices all over again? What kind of brave new world awaits Hong Kong? We need to think about these things and try to find workable solutions. Above all, we need to keep the rule of law.
Similarly, civil-society organizations such as the Project Citizens Foundation are committed to educating the public on Hong Kong’s rules and rights. Thanks partly to their efforts, the public tends to be knowledgeable and vigilant about encroachment on Hong Kong’s freedoms, such as the recent abduction of five book publishers by mainland agents.
For the time being we must do what we can within the constraints we face. I urge all of you who can, to go out and vote this Sunday and ensure that the incoming Legislative Council contains as many men and women as possible who are of high moral principle, who embrace the values and freedoms that we cherish and who, above all, are prepared to stand up and defend them.