Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Let law take its course in Hong Kong

By Qiao Xinsheng (China Daily) Updated: 2014-10-29 07:51

Citing the two cases, the HKBA says that it is essential for participants of the "Occupy Central" campaign to respect the rights and freedoms of other people who do not necessarily agree with their views and to be ready to be punished for the criminal consequences of their conduct.

The HKBA's professional spirit, aimed at safeguarding the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, highlights the judicial dignity and social foundation for the rule of law in the region. The HKBA's stance will thus foil any attempt to turn legal problems in Hong Kong into political issues.

Shortly after the HKBA posted the statement on its website, some small and medium-sized enterprises in Hong Kong filed a lawsuit against the organizers of the protests and demanded compensation from them. The lawsuit, a legal action taken by local residents to safeguard their rights and interests and maintain Hong Kong's social order, symbolizes the rule of law in the region.

According to Hong Kong's laws, such a lawsuit has to go through a simple procedure and the court can give a fast and even default verdict in the absence of the defendant. This, if realized, would deal a deadly blow to the protest organizers. The use of legal weapons by enterprises to safeguard their interests also demonstrates that the rule of law is supreme in Hong Kong, and Hong Kong residents are strongly aware of the law.

Therefore, there is no need to be excessively worried about the ongoing political turbulence in Hong Kong, because troublemakers in such a society will inevitably be meted out legal punishment.

Despite holding the banner of democracy, some "Occupy central" figures pointed the finger at the central government in an attempt to sabotage the "One Country, Two Systems" policy, which is stipulated in the Basic Law of Hong Kong. So, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, should issue a judicial interpretation of the law to bring all people who raise the slogan of "Hong Kong's independence" or other slogans that compromise national sovereignty to justice in accordance with the Basic Law. This will also allow Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal, while handling such cases, to seek the NPC Standing Committee's interpretations to deliver sound verdicts.

Only by doing so can the so-called political problems in the region be included in the judicial procedures and resolved through legal means, and Hong Kong maintain its stability and peace, and turn itself into a model of the rule of law.

The author is director of the research center for social development at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law.

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