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Hong Kong Court Overturns Maid Residency Ruling

Jakarta Globe - March 28, 2012. "Hong Kong’s court of appeal on Wednesday overturned a landmark ruling that opened the door for thousands of foreign maids to claim residency in the southern Chinese city."

"Indonesia has previously hailed the landmark ruling, saying it could open the way for similar action elsewhere.

Judge Andrew Cheung, in a 66-page judgement accepting the government’s appeal, said: “It must be up to the sovereign authority to decide the extent to which the status of permanent resident should be conceded to foreign nationals.”
 
The High Court ruled on Sept. 30 last year that Philippine domestic worker Evangeline Banao Vallejos had the right to request permanent residency status, something that had been denied to foreign maids until then.

But the government argued that the authorities had discretionary power to decide who was eligible for residency, rejecting arguments that restrictions on maids were unconstitutional and discriminatory.

The three-judge panel on the court of appeal unanimously accepted that argument, saying the High Court could not override the government’s authority to decide who can live in the city and who cannot.

The decision will come as a major blow to tens of thousands of maids who could have been eligible for residency status if the Vallejos case had been established in law.

“It is a fundamental principle in international law that a sovereign state has the power to admit, exclude and expel aliens,” Cheung wrote.

Vallejos’s lawyers were not present in court but they have previously indicated they will take the case to Hong Kong’s highest court, the Court of Final Appeal, if necessary." (AFP)

Source: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/

Source: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/international/hong-kong-court-overturns-maid-residency-ruling/507588

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