Expert: Joint Declaration not binding on security law

Gang Wen

Expert: Joint Declaration not binding on security law

HONG KONG - A veteran law expert said the Sino-British Joint Declaration has no binding effect on the National Security Law for Hong Kong, as it is a treaty, not a document related to the foundation of Hong Kong’s constitutional structure.

Richard Cullen, a visiting professor with the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong, made the remarks at a China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable. Cullen’s comments come amid claims by some Western countries and local politicians that the law violates the 1984 treaty.

At the webinar, which focused on the newly enacted law, Cullen said the Joint Declaration declares that part of Beijing’s basic policy is to maintain sovereignty and territorial integrity — and this is not a job for the United Kingdom or any other party.

The law professor described the National Security Law for Hong Kong as “focused”, and “not wide-ranging and sweeping.” He added he has a positive view looking forward and expects that the National Security Law for Hong Kong will continue to have a deterrent effect.

Also at the event, Malaysian business leader Chandran Nair said he also believes the law will better shelter the city from risks in national security, thus defending its order and stability.

He stressed such a function is especially important for Hong Kong — a “portal” for the intensifying ideological clashes between the West and China.

Tony Kwok Man-wai, former deputy commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the city’s anti-corruption watchdog, has shed light on his thoughts on the law’s enforcement.

Kwok said that sufficient manpower, strong investigation power of enforcement agencies, and close collaboration among different social sectors are key elements for effective implementation of the law.