China’s top legislature sets date for next session, likely to enact HK national security law by July 1

By Chen Qingqing Published: 2020/6/21 11:53:46 Last Updated: 2020/6/21 15:45:17

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China’s top legislative body on Sunday released the details and arrangements for its next meeting at the end of June, shortly after it unveiled the detailed provisions of the draft law on national security for Hong Kong. Some observers noted that it is highly likely lawmakers will enact the legislation by July 1. 

The 20th session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee will be held from June 28 to 30 in Beijing, according to a chairpersons' meeting held on Saturday, chaired by Li Zhanshu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee. The next meeting is scheduled to review the draft amendments to the Patent Law, the draft amendment to the Law on the Protection of Minors, and the draft export control law among others. 

Though the national security law for Hong Kong was not on the official agenda when the NPC Standing Committee announced it for the upcoming session, observers said that the draft could be proposed by the chairman of the NPC Standing Committee during the session.   

Some observers who believe the legislation has been fast-tracked said that legislators are likely to further accelerate the process, which means the law could be enacted as early as the end of this month.

China's top legislature reviewed the draft law on national security for Hong Kong at the three-day meeting of the 19th session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee which concluded on Saturday, paving the way for the next stage of the legislative process of the draft law.

The draft law showed that central authorities have made the utmost efforts in striking a balance between Hong Kong's common law and the mainland's civil law systems, with the aim of protecting the HKSAR’s judicial independence and giving maximum protection to human rights.

For instance, the protection of human rights and presumption of innocence before judicial conviction will be upheld, the draft showed. The national security law for the HKSAR will not weaken the political rights of Hong Kong people, change the lives of local residents, or influence the implementation of Hong Kong's common law, according to some analysts and lawmakers. 

Tam Yiu-chung, a member of the NPC Standing Committee from Hong Kong, confirmed with the Global Times on Sunday that it’s highly expected that Chinese top legislators may vote on the law during the committee’s next session.


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