Most controversially, the law gives Beijing the power to exercise jurisdiction over selected criminal cases, and for the first time in Hong Kong’s history, suspects are expected to cross the border to face trial and be jailed on the mainland.
Protests against the extradition bill proposed by the Hong Kong government last year sparked protests. The protests eventually forced the government to break the law, but led to widespread anti-government unrest, saying Beijing needed to impose new national security regulations.
Writing on Twitter, the new law “effectively establishes a parallel judiciary (and) takes away from the Hong Kong courts the power of interpretation and final judgment.”
In a statement, the city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, reiterated that the law “will ensure Hong Kong’s long-term well-being and stability”, reaffirming that it “only targets a very small minority of people” and that the proposed bill “complies with the rules of law” and The applicable rights and freedoms in Hong Kong under the relevant international treaties. ”
When Hong Kong was taken over by the British from China in 1997, the city’s general legal system remained largely intact. Precursors are in effect, and the new substantive constitution, the Basic Law, as well as the various international treaties guaranteed a level of fairness and freedom not seen in China, where the penalty rate is 90% north.
The new national security law changes all that. According to details published over the weekend, Chinese security organs have the authority to exercise “jurisdiction” over national security cases under “specific circumstances,” but other prosecution by law is heard by a panel of judges selected by the city Beijing. A designated leader.
It is not clear whether the suspects will be extradited to mainland China under such circumstances.
Although the draft refers to the “rule of law” and various civil liberties, it is subject to the existing National Security Bill, so that where there is conflict, the National Security Act is prevalent. In practice, this means that when the National Security Prosecution violates human rights protected under Hong Kong law, those rights are terminated.
“The handover was clearly a takeover,” Cohen added.
“That’s just what they say,” he says. “And if they can’t do what they say when they want something, they change it the way they like it.”
Such provisions come amid a massive campaign effort to sell the bill, posters and advertisements promoting the plastering of Hong Kong, as well as encouraging Beijing Chinese companies to re-list on the city’s stock exchange.
These judges are appointed by the chief executive, but in some cases their presence is disputed in China, which calls for their removal or prevents them from certain sensitive cases. By granting Lamm the power to nominate judges to investigate national security cases, the government essentially overlooks the issue, allowing her to choose the judges most faithfully.
Even more worrying is the expansion of the power of Chinese courts and security services to Hong Kong.
Allowing China’s security apparatus to work in the city increases the fear of illegal violence. China’s dissenters and activists are often threatened with disappearance by authorities or arrested around sensitive events, and many journalists and lawyers are dragged into “tea” with security services, during which they receive thinly veiled threats of potential consequences. Their work.
Given the jurisdiction of the Chinese courts in “specific circumstances”, at the same time, it guarantees convictions in those cases. China’s legal system has been widely criticized for its lack of human rights protection, naked political prosecutions and an almost universal sentencing rate. The country’s own national security law has been widely interpreted in the past to imprison activists, intellectuals and journalists.
Similarly, Hong Kong guarantees rights under the Basic Law and by signing international conventions, but outlaws these protections under the National Security Law Framework.