Role of UK Supreme Court judges on the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal - update
A statement from Lord Reed, President of the Supreme Court, The Right Hon Lord Reed of Allermuir
Wednesday 30 March 2022
Further to my statement of 27 August 2021, I have been closely monitoring and assessing developments in Hong Kong, in discussion with the government.
The judges of the Supreme Court and its predecessor, the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, have sat on the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (HKCFA) for many years in fulfilment of the obligations undertaken by the government towards Hong Kong in 1997. They have done so with the support of the government, and in the light of the government’s assessment that their participation in the HKCFA was in the UK’s national interests.
However, since the introduction of the Hong Kong national security law in 2020, this position has become increasingly finely balanced.
The courts in Hong Kong continue to be internationally respected for their commitment to the rule of law. Nevertheless, I have concluded, in agreement with the government, that the judges of the Supreme Court cannot continue to sit in Hong Kong without appearing to endorse an administration which has departed from values of political freedom, and freedom of expression, to which the Justices of the Supreme Court are deeply committed.
Lord Hodge and I have accordingly submitted our resignations as non-permanent judges of the HKCFA with immediate effect.
For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact a member of the UK Supreme Court press office:
Janet Coull Trisic - Joint Head of Communications
020 7960 1887
Sophia Linehan-Biggs - Joint Head of Communications
020 7960 1887