UK Government Bows to Call for British Judges to Withdraw from Hong Kong

March 30, 2022



The UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has made a statement supporting the withdrawal of British judges from Hong Kong, moments before a Westminster Hall debate on the issue secured by Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP and Siobhain McDonagh MP – both members of the cross-party Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC).

Afzal Khan MP, Shadow Justice Minister said:

“For too long British judges have served as window dressing for the Chinese government’s brutal crackdown on all forms of political opposition in Hong Kong. This announcement is welcome and long overdue.”

“We must now look to hold the Chinese and Hong Kong officials who are responsible for the systematic undermining of Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy to account.”

“China is showing no signs of slowing down its blatant attack on human rights and freedoms, whether it’s in Hong Kong or indeed its genocidal campaign in Xinjiang.”

“We must see sanctions on Chief Executive Carrie Lam and all others who have dismantled the rule of law in Hong Kong.”

Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP, former leader of the Conservative Party said:

“This is an important moment as it finally gets rid of the independent judiciary from lending legitimacy to an authoritarian and brutal regime that prosecutes and convicts people whose only crime is to cry out.”

“Moments before the House was due to debate the issue, a last minute announcement confirmed what we have long known to be true – the presence of British judges in Hong Kong courts can no longer be justified in the face of Beijing’s rampant repression in the City.”

“From the effective outlawing of political opposition to lengthy jail sentences for thought crimes, the Chinese government has destroyed all the last vestiges of rule of law in the City.”

“We welcome this move and pay credit to all the Hong Kongers working behind the scenes to convince legal experts in this country that British judges must leave Hong Kong.”

Siobhain McDonagh MP:

“Today’s announcement is welcome and long overdue. For too long the presence of British judges on Hong Kong courts served only to give a veneer of legitimacy to the Chinese government’s brutal crackdown on the pro-democracy movement.”

“The Chinese government has destroyed the rule of law in Hong Kong and systematically dismantled the freedoms and autonomy promised to Hong Kong in the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong – a treaty lodged at the United Nations.”

“It is now time for the government to hold the Chinese and Hong Kong officials responsible for these violations of international law to account. We must see sanctions on Carrie Lam and all other enablers of this totalitarian takeover.”


  • The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China is an international cross party group of legislators pushing for democratic countries to take a tougher stance on China. A full list of IPAC members and other information is available at

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