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  • Apr 19, 2014
  • Updated: 6:47pm
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Beijing loyalists fault top court's 'dictatorial' style

Voice of Loving Hong Kong vows to scrutinise Court of Final Appeal's 'erroneous' judgments

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 January, 2014, 4:14am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 January, 2014, 4:23pm

A hardline pro-Beijing group has pressed ahead with its plan to scrutinise the top court's "dictatorial style", defying the justice chief's warning against interfering with judicial independence.

The group, Voice of Loving Hong Kong, said yesterday it would collaborate with legal professionals to "check and balance the Court of Final Appeal's erroneous judgments".

Fear of such moves undermining judicial work rose after Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung said this week that "abusive attacks" on judges like those seen last year should be discouraged.

Group convenor Patrick Ko Tat-pun said the group's dissatisfaction stemmed from the top court's ruling last month that new immigrants no longer had to wait seven years to qualify for welfare benefits. "This judgment shows that the judiciary wields paramount power, even above the executive branch, by overturning a government policy," he said. "It's like a dictatorship."

Ko said the group would start collecting "information regarding judges' political stances … and judgments" for what he called "academic" purposes.

The findings could see the Court of Final Appeal held accountable for wrong judgments, and the group would ask judges who had come up with such judgments to step down, he said.

The group also criticised Yuen for interfering with their freedom of expression. In a reply to the South China Morning Post, the Department of Justice hit back, stressing that Yuen had not meant to restrict freedom of speech.

"[However] the exercise of freedom of speech in the context of discussing judicial decisions is not without limit … In common law, scurrilous abuse of judges may amount to a form of contempt of court," it said.

"[Yuen] wanted to convey a message that people, when discussing judicial decisions, should not overstep the boundary permitted by the law."

Ko also claimed that Yuen had acted in breach of his duty as justice secretary by voicing support for judges overseen by Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li. The department called it Yuen's "constitutional duty".

Ma earlier said he saw no threat of abusive attacks. Yesterday, his top court colleague, non-permanent judge Kemal Bokhary, agreed. "It doesn't worry me," said Bokhary, of the group's plan. "If they want to collect our judgments, go ahead."

 

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goncalo
This group is simply against the rule of law.
pslhk
This biased report shows slau and scmp editor in very poor light
It prejudged reasonable and responsible citizen action
such that voluntarily assumed by VLHK
as “defying the justice chief's warning”
“interfering with judicial independence”
-
Contrast such stupid prejudice
with Brouhaha’s affected aloofness
"If they want to collect our judgments, go ahead"
The lack of faith in the judiciary
is characteristic of scmp and self-styled democrats
enunchs getting more lascivious than princelings
-
Note supreme court justice A Kennedy’s planetary metaphor
about the relation of the three government branches
Take equality before the law as guiding force
Citizens must’nt interfere government in action
executive legislative and judiciary
-
Judges are no more protected from "abusive attacks"
than their exe/leg counterparts
Development of the judiciary needs public scrutiny of judges’ performance
-
VLHK is doing a much needed service for HKSAR
to demolish the shamanic façade of legal mystification
in the absence of retention election
lbsaw
I have resided in Hongkong for over 30 years and have encountered several injustice stemming from erred judgments made. To pursue in seeking justice, in particular to overturn such erred judgments, requires money and knowledge as well as understanding of the lengthy process, which I will state that not many ordinary people knows. This being the case, such judges, especially at the lower courts, eg. Labour tribunals, magistracy and district courts, are virtually shielded from their errors, some of which is so obviously biased, and the irony that they are paid by the very law abiding citizens' taxes. There must be an easier and more pragmatic way to report and highlight the work of the judges, for after all they are human beings like all of us, and should not be allowed to be protected from their errors.
johnh
This group wants to "check and balance the Court of Final Appeal's erroneous judgments"?? In other words, they want to give Beijing more power over our court decisions!!! DON'T GIVE IN JUSTICE CHIEF!
ianson
Ko is stunningly ignorant. Most cases which reach the final court are there because the legal arguments for and against are finely balanced. They are argued there by the best legal minds that can be mustered for the occasion. Intricate arguments ensue and the judges try to sort out the tangle. Because the logic and choice between arguments is often far from obvious, you can go on arguing the toss ad infinitum. It has to stop somewhere. The only useful contribution Ko can make is to either propose an alternative system (which, of course, would require changes to the Basic Law) or identify with cogent reasons particular judges he claims consistently defy logic, in which case he might suggest how or why the system of appointing judges is flawed. Ranting about judicial "dictatorship" simply goes nowhere.
cc88
So he wants political oversight of the judiciary, but also guaranteed freedom of speech? Muppet.
Dao-Phooy
You are far too polite. Ko is a toadying shoe- shining moron!
williechow
That certainly is an intelligent comment.
rpasea
What does anyone expect? The courts in China exist to enforce government policy. They have no concept or understanding of the role of an independent judiciary in a relatively free society.

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