Debates between Baroness Mallalieu and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon during the 2019 Parliament

Hong Kong: Democracy Movement

Debate between Baroness Mallalieu and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Monday 8th March 2021

(3 years, 3 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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My Lords, let me assure the noble Lord that my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary is very much aware of the strong sentiments and views of your Lordships’ House. I update my colleagues in the FCDO regularly on our debates and discussions, not just on this issue but on every issue. Specific to the noble Lord’s point about sanctions, he will of course know that I cannot comment on future designations. But we have taken specific steps on the situation in Hong Kong, as I am sure he will note, including the provision, which I believe was first proposed in your Lordships’ House, on the important issue of BNOs.

Baroness Mallalieu Portrait Baroness Mallalieu (Lab) [V]
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My Lords, British judges have continued to sit as non-permanent judges in the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal as recently as January of this year, and the Chinese Government continue to point to them as proof that the Hong Kong legal system is fair and independent. In view of increasingly repressive legislation and arrests under it, what is Her Majesty’s Government’s present view of the appropriateness of our judges continuing to sit in that court?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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My Lords, as the noble Baroness acknowledges, British judges have played an important role in supporting the independence of Hong Kong’s judiciary over many years, and we hope that this can continue. However, as she also rightly points out—and I agree—the national security law now poses real questions for the rule of law in Hong Kong and the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. It is therefore right that the Supreme Court continues to assess the situation in Hong Kong, and it is doing so in direct discussion with the Government.