July 10, 2014 11:54 pm

The judiciary should be independent of executive influence

From Mr Alistair Lang.

Sir, Liu Xiaoming argues that reform in Hong Kong must follow the Basic Law (Comment, July 9). He fails to mention it must also be in accordance with the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the future of Hong Kong, whereby Britain agreed that sovereignty over Hong Kong should revert to China on July 1 1997. Arguably the most important provision of the declaration is that the judiciary should be independent of the executive arm of government.

The Chinese government has set alarm bells ringing with its white paper on reform which states that the judiciary is part of the administration. There have also been veiled threats to send in the People’s Liberation Army to maintain order. Both the Occupy Central movement and the Chinese government are playing with fire. China risks killing off the goose that lays the golden egg, not to mention its aspirations to reunite Taiwan with the mainland.

Alistair Lang, Winchester, Hants, UK; Formerly of the Hong Kong Civil Service

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