H.K. Top Court to Have Final Say on Abode Law, Government Says

Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal will make the final decision on whether to refer to China’s National People’s Congress’s Standing Committee to interpret the law concerning right of abode, Rimsky Yuen, the city’s justice secretary, said.

The government was clarifying media reports today that said it was trying to influence the judicial process in a case involving a domestic helper from the Philippines seeking permanent residence in Hong Kong, he said.

In the case, Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal will decide whether an immigration rule excluding foreign domestic helpers from becoming eligible for permanent residence is constitutional under the city’s Basic Law, the city’s mini constitution.

The Justice Department’s request for the court to refer to the NPC committee to clarify the interpretation “absolutely does not affect the rule of law,” Yuen said. “The ultimate power to interpret the Basic Law is vested in the NPC,” he said

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