Newly-elected Ng vows to improve profession in HK

Barrister Margaret Ng, newly-elected to Hong Kong's Legislative Council (LegCo), said one of her first priorities would be to try to put Chinese state bodies back under the rule of Hong Kong statutes.

She told The Lawyer last week that the administration had changed the law to make state bodies, such as the official news agency Xinhua, exempt from Hong Kong statues, without consulting the legal profession. She believed the move breached article 22 of the Basic Law governing the former colony.

Ng also said she will address concerns that the numbers and quality of non-law school trained lawyers being churned out of government-backed part-time courses is threatening the standing of the profession in the community.

Beijing-inspired changes to the candidate selection and election process ensured that she was one of only five pro-democracy candidates elected to LegCo from the 40 “functional constituencies”, in which only professionals are entitled to vote, despite the fact that these candidates won 68 per cent of the vote.

Lawyers made up 3,500 of the 180,000 electorate in these constituencies, but had a disproportionately high turnout, comprising 2,300 of the 80,000 who bothered to vote.

Ng easily beat her two rivals for the seat, gaining 1,741 votes, compared to 394 for Sylvia Siu Wing-yee and 138 for Francis Chong Wing-charn.

Anthony Chow, president of the Law Society of Hong Kong, congratulated Ng on her landslide victory and added she was doing “a fine job for the legal profession”.