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  • Dec 27, 2014
  • Updated: 3:22am

Kemal Bokhary

Kemal Bokhary is the former permanent judge of Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal. Bokhary qualified as a barrister in the United Kingdom at 23 but returned to work in Hong Kong, where he was born. He has served as one of the four permanent judges in the Court of Final Appeal since 1997. Bokhary is known for his sense of humour in court. He stepped down on October 24, 2012 – a day before he turned 65.


NewsHong Kong

Former judge Bokhary: 'I was ousted for being too liberal'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 November, 2012, 7:19am


  • Yes: 13%
  • No: 87%
5 Nov 2012
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 686

One of the city's best-known judges believes his liberal rulings are behind the government's decision not to extend his term of service beyond his retirement.

Mr Justice Kemal Bokhary, 65, stepped down on October 24 as a permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal. In a surprise announcement in March, his job went to Mr Justice Robert Tang Ching, who is nine months older.

In an interview broadcast by ATV on its Newsline programme last night, Bokhary also said the former justice secretary Elsie Leung Oi-sie had been wrong to say local judges did not understand the relations between Beijing and Hong Kong, and he confirmed a WikiLeaks report that all the judges of Hong Kong's top court had considered quitting after Beijing overturned their ruling on the right of abode in 1999.

During the 30-minute programme, Bokhary told Michael Chugani, the programme's host: "If you were asking if I believe that the reason why I wasn't extended is because of my liberal judgements, then I would tell you that I do believe that."

The ending of Bokhary's term sparked an outcry, but the judiciary said he had served for more than 15 years on the highest court and there were no exceptional circumstances justifying a continuation of his tenure.

Bokhary will continue to serve as a non-permanent judge, hearing cases only occasionally. He has said he is sorry to go.

On his departure last month, he suggested forces were trying to deprive the city of its independent judiciary. Bokhary elaborated last night, saying there were signs that the rule of law was under threat, referring to Leung's suggestion to seek Beijing's help in curbing the influx of mainland mothers-to-be.

"I think we understand [the relations between China and Hong Kong] perfectly well," Bokhary said.


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With respect looking into the 3000 years history of China, Chinese never had a transparent Judiciary/legal system. Even now they do not have a transparent judicial system in the mainland. NOW what people or "forces" are thinking is very simple, Hong Kong is part of China and they should be able to have their own power every where. it is pertinent to note that in our Hong Kong legal system executive power or Judiciary are totally Independent and separate. what Else Leung said is something to mix up both.
A trader from China in sheung shui with trolley was charged and convicted for "working", this is event communist already inside our system now.
Are there any ways for Hong Kongers to resist the "forces" that are threatening the city's independent judiciary?
good riddance
if this judge and the other dorks had their way the would allow any person of chinese descent to immigrate here
"I think we understand [the relations between China and Hong Kong] perfectly well,", and "I hope HK will keep its past status of independent of China as long as possible."
"Asia's World City": further going down the slippery slope of becoming another "China Second Tier City"


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