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Hong Kong amends law to limit foreign lawyers in some cases

KEYT

By KANIS LEUNG
Associated Press

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong lawmakers have passed an amendment to a law granting the city’s leader the power to bar overseas lawyers from handling national security cases. It follows a high-profile row sparked by a pro-democracy Hong Kong publisher’s hiring of a British lawyer. The changes will require overseas lawyers who do not generally practice in Hong Kong to obtain permission from the chief executive before submitting applications to represent clients in national security cases in court. The decision cannot be challenged. Critics say the changes will leave defendants with even fewer choices when they look for legal representation in some of the city’s most controversial cases. The bill was passed by a majority in the legislature, filled by mostly Beijing loyalists.

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