2020, Vol 25, Issue 2, pp. 27-33
Abstract: Foreign judges have had a longstanding role on Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal. In 2020, this tradition faced significant challenges as the People’s Republic of China enacted a new National Security Law for Hong Kong. This article examines the implications of the new law for the foreign judges on Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal. It tracks the debates about the potential exclusion of foreign judges from hearing national security cases and the difficult question of judicial resignations. The article explains how these issues take on greater significance because of the distinctive rationale for the use of foreign judges in Hong Kong, where foreign judges are understood to signify the distinctiveness of Hong Kong’s legal system as well as its quality.