Davis Polk Asia chair withdraws from Hong Kong security law forum

The Asia chair of US regulation agency Davis Polk & Wardwell has pulled out of a Hong Kong authorities discussion board commemorating the introduction of a nationwide safety regulation that heralded a crackdown on town’s democratic opposition.

Martin Rogers was criticised after he stated he was “honoured” to talk on the occasion which was to characteristic speeches by Hong Kong officers who’ve had sanctions imposed on them by the US authorities for his or her position within the clampdown.

“I have decided to withdraw from speaking at the May 28 National Security Law Legal Forum,” Rogers stated in a social media submit on Sunday. “My agreement to participate did not reflect an endorsement or support of any topics discussed or individuals or organisations involved.”

The occasion was organised by Hong Kong’s justice division, led by Teresa Cheng, who has been subjected to US sanctions for “undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and restricting the freedom of expression or assembly of the citizens of Hong Kong”.

One keynote speech by a senior Chinese official will cowl how the safety regulation has “won the hearts of the people” and set Hong Kong on a path from “chaos to order”.

Critics stated the choice to seem on the occasion steered Davis Polk was in favour of the safety regulation, underneath which newspapers have been compelled to shut and civil society teams shuttered.

“It certainly gives the appearance that the firm is endorsing the Hong Kong national security law,” Michael Davis, a former regulation professor on the University of Hong Kong and a world fellow on the Wilson Center in Washington DC, stated. “The firm should be aware that the security law has been used to lock up almost the entire opposition in Hong Kong and has had a dramatic effect on basic freedoms.”

Alvin Cheung, a postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University and analyst of Hong Kong authorized developments, stated: “It seems clear from the event advert that the [Hong Kong justice department] intends the event to be a strongly pro-national security law one.”

In the submit, Rogers stated he was showing in a private capability alongside different specialists to debate procedural challenges.

In a video recorded at the same occasion final yr held by the Hong Kong authorities and posted on social media by a authorities workplace, Rogers stated the safety regulation was essential laws.

“I believe that National Security Law is a very important, positive piece of legal and regulatory framework in maintaining Hong Kong’s leading role as a financial business and investment centre,” Rogers stated within the video. “Why is it important? At the heart of everything, Hong Kong government’s success is the rule of law.”

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