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Who should barristers be allowed to act for?

A QC who initially planned to lead the prosecution of Hong Kong democracy campaigners has brought an old question back to the forefront

By Catherine Baksi  

Photo: Katie Collins/PA Archive

David Perry QC came in for flak from politicians and fellow lawyers before deciding to back out of leading the prosecution by the Hong Kong authorities of pro-democracy activists.

Up to that point, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had branded his move “pretty mercenary,” and Shadow Attorney General Charlie Falconer had told me it was “absolutely abhorrent.” Helena Kennedy, the Labour peer and Chairwoman of the International Bar Association’s (IBA) Human Rights Institute, had said his initial decision to provide a “veneer of respectability to a puppet regime” that is acting contrary to democracy and the rule of law…

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