Articles: National Security Law

Statement by CE John Lee on requesting interpretation of NSL from NPCSC
HK Government, 28-Nov-2022
You might think that having a leading human rights lawyer of his choice would add legitimacy to the goal of locking up Jimmy Lai for life. You'd be wrong. Predictably, within hours of the Court of [Semi-] Final Appeal's dismissal of the SJ's appeal against the admission of overseas counsel, the CE asks for an "interpretation" by the NPCSC. This will be rather awkward for the courts below, having unanimously upheld that it is "clearly in the public interest to admit an overseas specialist as eminent as Mr Owen so that the court will have the best assistance to tackle the formidable task at hand."
Re admission of Timothy Wynn Owen KC to defend Jimmy Lai Chee Ying in NSL case
HK Court of Final Appeal, 28-Nov-2022
Application for leave to appeal is dismissed. The court writes: "in relation to ad hoc admissions, where national security considerations properly arise, such considerations are plainly of the highest importance to be taken into account. In the present case, however, the SJ has fundamentally changed his case only at the stage of seeking leave to appeal to this Court, raising undefined and unsubstantiated issues said to involve national security which were not mentioned or explored in the Courts below."
Re admission of Timothy Wynn Owen KC to defend Jimmy Lai Chee Ying in NSL case
HK Court of Appeal, 21-Nov-2022
Leave to appeal to the CFA is refused. Now on his 4th Senior Counsel, the SJ is represented by former SJ Rimsky Yuen. Biting the cherry again, he claims 2 new points (which should've been raised in the first instance): (1) that overseas counsel might leak State Secrets and are not subject to local discipline - but the NSL has global effect, and England & Wales Barristers are subject to global regulation under their Bar Standards Handbook; and (2) that there should be a presumption against overseas counsel in NSL cases. The court writes "Contrary to Mr Yuen’s submission that he seeks to establish matters of principle, we consider this an unprincipled approach and goes against the grain of guiding principles for the exercise of judicial discretion. It is an untenable proposition".
Re admission of Timothy Wynn Owen KC to defend Jimmy Lai Chee Ying in NSL case
HK Court of Appeal, 9-Nov-2022
Dismissing the appeal of the Secretary for Justice against admission, the Court writes: "It is of vital importance in the early days of the NSL that our jurisprudence should be developed on solid foundations to reflect adherence to the rule of law in accordance with internationally adopted judicial standards. It would clearly be in the public interest to have the contribution of eminent jurists in developing our jurisprudence in the NSL" and "Public perception of fairness in the trial is of vital importance to the administration of justice"
Re admission of Timothy Wynn Owen KC to defend Jimmy Lai Chee Ying in NSL case
HK Court of First Instance, 19-Oct-2022
Chief Judge Jeremy Poon: "the construction exercise at the trial will most probably involve an in-depth and rigorous analysis of the intricate interplay between national security and the constitutional right to the freedom of expression... it is clearly in the public interest to admit an overseas specialist as eminent as Mr Owen so that the court will have the best assistance to tackle the formidable task at hand."
Chow Hang Tung v Secretary for JusticeMagistrates Ordinance s87A
HK Court of First Instance, 2-Aug-2022
Justice Alex Lee Wan Tang rules that Magistrate Peter Law Tak Chuen was wrong: s87A(2) of the Magistrates Ordinance means what it says. Reporting restrictions on commital proceedings must be lifted when the defendant applies for that.
HKSAR v Claudia Mo Man Ching
HK Court of First Instance, 28-May-2021
Bail is refused. Justice Esther Toh decides that the unspecified bail conditions offered are not sufficient for believing that Ms Mo "will not continue to commit acts endangering national security". The judgment cites several WhatsApp conversations with journalists retrieved from Ms Mo's phone.
Webb looks for clarity in Next asset freeze claim
RTHK, 18-May-2021
HKSAR v Jimmy Lai Chee Ying
HK Court of First Instance, 23-Feb-2021
Bail refused.
HKSAR v Jimmy Lai Chee Ying
HK Court of Final Appeal, 9-Feb-2021
Jimmy Lai returned to custody pending prosecution's appeal against bail
HK Court of Final Appeal, 31-Dec-2020
The top court cites prosecution's concern that Mr Lai may cause "irreparable harm to national security" while on bail, rendering the appeal nugatory, and chooses the "status quo ante" as the magistrate's decision to remand him in custody rather than the status quo before that, of being a free man.
HKSAR v Jimmy Lai Chee Ying
HK Court of First Instance, 29-Dec-2020
Bail is granted.
SFC Policy Statement on National Security Law
SFC, 19-Jul-2020
HK Financial Secretary's letter to SFC on National Security Law
SFC, 17-Jul-2020
This "Dear Ashley" letter was circulated to intermediaries by the SFC on Friday night but doesn't appear on its website, so now it appears on ours. Good to know that we remain free to opine that the mainland's centrally-planned, authoritarian, state-owned economy is unsustainable and will eventually change to a democratic, open, free-market economy and society to deliver the growth that its citizens expect.
David Webb, Emily Lau on "Saturday AM" radio re National Security Law
Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 4-Jul-2020
Webb on "Backchat" re National Security Law
RTHK, 23-Jun-2020
HK investor says city is facing brain drain
Bloomberg, 2-Jun-2020

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