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30法律界選委聯合聲明:DQ周庭「不合理、不合法、不合憲」

30法律界選委聯合聲明:DQ周庭「不合理、不合法、不合憲」
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Joint Statement of All Members of the Legal Subsector of the Election Committee]*

1. We express our deep regret and concern over the decision said to be that of the Returning Officer of the Hong Kong Island Geographical Constituency that the nomination of Ms Chow Ting as a candidate in the 2018 Legislative Council By-election is invalid (“the Decision”).

2. The right to stand for election is a fundamental right enshrined in Article 26 of the Basic Law of the HKSAR as well as Article 21 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights (“HKBOR”). Specifically, Article 21(b) of the HKBOR provides that every permanent resident shall have the right and the opportunity, without unreasonable restrictions, to be elected.

3. In General Comment 25 adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Committee, it is made clear at paragraph 15 that:

“Persons who are otherwise eligible to stand for election should not be excluded by unreasonable or discriminatory requirements such as education, residence or descent, or by reason of political affiliation.”

Further, at paragraph 17:

“political opinion may not be used as a ground to deprive any person of the right to stand for election”.

4. In disqualifying Ms Chow Ting by virtue of her participation in an organisation which holds certain political views found unacceptable by the Administration, the Decision has used political opinion or affiliation as a ground to deprive her of the right to stand for election – which is unreasonable, unlawful and unconstitutional.

5. The Decision further breaches the fundamental rules of natural justice in that it was made without affording Ms Chow Ting any opportunity to make representations.

6. Open and fair elections have long been treasured by the people of Hong Kong. Disqualification of candidates with certain political opinion or affiliation frustrates the core purpose of an open and fair election, which is to guarantee the free expression of the will of the electors. The Decision in effect suppresses the free expression of the will of the Hong Kong Island electors by depriving them of a choice on the ballot paper in the forthcoming by-election.

7. The above rights of persons to stand for election apply to all persons seeking election across the political spectrum regardless of their political opinion or affiliation. This statement should in no way be taken as an endorsement of the political opinion or affiliation of Ms Chow Ting. We would have made the same points regardless of where a would-be candidate stands in the political spectrum.

陳景生 Chan King Sang Edward SC
戴啟思 Dykes Philip John SC
梁家傑 Leong Kah Kit Alan SC
夏偉志 Harris Graham Anthony SC
彭耀鴻 Pang Yiu Hung Robert SC
潘熙 Pun Hei Hectar SC
查錫我 Char Shik Ngor Stephen
鄭瑞泰 Cheng Shui Tai
張達明 Cheung Tat Ming Eric
張惠儀 Cheung Wai Yee Betty
張耀良 Cheung Yiu Leung
關尚義 Clancey John Joseph
何俊麒 Ho Chun Ki Frederick
何俊仁 Ho Chun Yan Albert
郭憬憲 Kwok King Hin Douglas
林洋鋐 Lam Kenneth
廖成利 Liu Sing Lee Bruce
文浩正 Man Ho Ching Jonathan
吳思諾 Ng Sze Nok Senia
潘淑瑛 Poon Suk Ying Debora
石書銘 Shek Randy Shu Ming
譚俊傑 Tam Chun Kit Jeffrey
韋智達 Vidler Michael John
黃鶴鳴 Wong Hok Ming Alan
王學今 Wong Huk Kam
黃國桐 Wong Kwok Tung Daniel
黃瑞紅 Wong Shui Hung Linda
黃宇逸 Wong Yu Yat Anson
葉海琅 Yip Hoi Long Richard
阮陳淑怡 Yuen Chan Suk Yee Helena

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