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Legal issue is what is at stake

It has recently been suggested in some quarters here that a "re-interpretation" of the Basic Law by the mainland National People's Congress may serve to relieve the Government of the Hong Kong SAR from the inconvenience of implementing the "right of abode" decisions of the Court of Final Appeal, without doing any damage to the most difference, within our "one country", between the "two systems," it embraces, that is, the mainland's "system", and the SAR's "system".
1 refer to the rule of law, a concept perhaps less well understood on the mainland than in the SAR
In this connection, it is worth recalling the words of Wilson J in In re Bachand
v. Dupuis [1946] 2 DLR 641, at pp. 645, 655 "The whole value of the legal system - the integrity of the rule of law - is at once destroyed if it becomes possible for
official by arbitrary decisions made, not in the public court rooms but in the private office of offcialdom, without hearing the parties, without taking evidence, free of all obedience to settled legal principles, and subject to no appeal, effectively to overrule the Courts ..."
It might make for more informed debate if those involved in it could be brought to understand that what is at stake here is a legal issue, not a political one.
source: South China Morning Post, 13 May 1999


關於這點,我想引用Wilson J 在Bachard V. Dupuis〔1946〕2 DLR 641,(645及655頁)一案中的話:「如果官僚可以隨便在法庭以外,既沒有嚴肅的法律指引,沒有提証,沒有答辯,更沒有公聽的情況下,例如隨便在某某的辦公室內,便可推翻法庭的裁判,則整個司法制度,法治的精神,將被徹底摧毀。」



There has been speculation that the invitation from the Government to the central authorities to "interpret" the Basic Law in a manner inconsistent with the Court of Final Appeal's interpretation of the Basic Law on the "right 
of abode" issue might prompt judges to resign.
It should not do so.
Of course, any judge who respects his oath of office must apply an interpretation of the Basic law made by the Court of Final Appeal and must disregard interpretations made by other (even by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress) obtained otherwise than in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Basic Law.
But there is no need for a judge to resign, even if this happens. If he finds that an interpretation of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People's of Congress has been properly obtained, he will do his duty and disregard it. The political fall-out, either way, will not be a matter for him.