No Confidence in Elsie Leung

Press Release

16 May 2000

Human Rights Monitor is extremely disappointed to learn of the re-appointment of Miss Elsie Leung for a further term as Secretary for Justice.

A Secretary for Justice should be a person with an unquestioned commitment to justice and the rule of law.

Miss Leung has failed to discharge her obligation to defend the rule of law and the Hong Kong judiciary. She failed to stop Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa from seeking a re-interpretation of the Basic Law. Instead she was actually one of the key players leading the attack on the judiciary in respect of the Court of Final Appeal's interpretation of the Basic Law. Worst of all, in all controversies in which the actual or perceived interests of the Central Authorities are inconsistent with Hong Kong ones, she always leans in favour of the Mainland authorities. We have absolutely no confidence in her.

We believe that in failing to prosecute Miss Sally Aw in connection with the defrauding of advertisers by the Hong Kong Standard newspaper, Miss Leung showed favouritism to a powerful person with close connections to members of the Government. A person who indulges in favouritism of this kind is wholly unacceptable in this critically important post. We called for Miss Leung's resignation at the time and severed our previously cordial relations with her. We will continue to avoid all further contacts.

The Chief Executive's willingness to re-appoint Miss Leung shows the hollowness of his professed commitment to the rule of law. His motto appears to be "My friends, right or wrong".

2000 (c) Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor

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