• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 12:10pm
Beijing White Paper 2014
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Retired judge, law deans back silent Hong Kong marchers from legal profession

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 June, 2014, 2:39am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 June, 2014, 6:18pm

Lawyers organising today's march in defence of judicial independence received fresh impetus yesterday as a retired judge and two leading law deans stood by critics of Beijing's white paper, which categorises judges as administrators who need to be patriotic.

Retired High Court judge William Waung Sik-ying said it was "most regrettable" that "the Hong Kong government has not immediately taken steps to correct the ... error of judicial patriotism in the white paper".

"I hope the silent march will cause the Hong Kong government and the Chinese government to issue the appropriate corrective statement," Waung wrote to legal-sector lawmaker Dennis Kwok, one of the 30 organisers of the march. Waung is overseas and will not join the march.

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung said only that the white paper - issued by the State Council on June 10 and asserting Beijing's "comprehensive jurisdiction" over Hong Kong - "carries no intention to impose requirements other than those in the Basic Law on judges".

Also weighing in were the outgoing law dean of the University of Hong Kong, Professor Johannes Chan Man-mun, and his Chinese University counterpart, Professor Christopher Gane. "I do think that the white paper represents a change in approach towards Hong Kong and that the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary is threatened," said Chan, who will join the march from the High Court in Queensway to the Court of Final Appeal in Central.

"It is important for the legal profession to send a clear message that any attempt to undermine the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary is itself a violation of the Basic Law."

Gane said the language and the timing of the white paper were unfortunate.

Without commenting on the march, he said "a central message" of the paper reinforced the subordinate nature of Hong Kong's legal system, adding: "I doubt the wisdom or necessity of restating this at a time of heightened political sensitivity."

Critics, including the politically powerful Bar Association, have argued the paper wrongly categorised judges as "Hong Kong administrators" who needed to be patriotic.

Waung, who retired in 2008, added yesterday: "There is nothing in the judicial oath requiring a judge to be patriotic or to love China."

The march will be the third since the handover for lawyers to show solidarity with an embattled judiciary. The first two, in 1999 and 2005, followed Basic Law interpretations.

City University acting law dean Professor Lin Feng said he saw no intention by Beijing to interfere with judicial independence and he would not join the march.

 

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Rallying words for rule of law
26 Jun 2014 - 4:05am

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This article is now closed to comments

martinturner
Clearly all budding law students who seek a complete education in common law, founded on principled jurisprudence, will be making a beeline for the law schools of Hong Kong University and Chinese University, while those who prefer their law tinged with CCP characteristics will opt for City University.
hm03
Shame, because I've always thought City University had a strong law faculty. Obviously I am wrong.
I hope people fock to Chinese and HKU from on.
rolftsui
The Secretary for Justice and the "Acting" Dean of Law at City University should really consider reading that sentence again about the requirement of judges in the White Paper. English can sometimes be a tricky language to master as it can mean one thing over another at times, however this recent statement is pretty clear and unambiguous.
The question which should be asked is that are these so called Secretaries/Ministers and Academics are loyal to the people and institutions of Hong Kong and "love" Hong Kong, over CCP dominated PRC?
John Adams
Will it be "UN-patriotic" to find our previous CS guilty as charged ?
ejmciii
One can love his country but still take issue with the decisions of its government. There is nothing un-patriotic with a judge applying the laws of HK as written and in conformity with One Nation-Two Systems that comes to different conclusions that one might come to applying the laws of Mainland China. Now the communist government and their minions here do not like that answer. They put the emphasis on one nation and not on two systems when the two systems lead to results that they do not like, such as people thinking for themselves and believing that they have a right to speak their mind and to petition their government for redress of their grievances. That is patriotic because it is focused on making sure the people of the nation tell the government what they want of their government. But the masters do not like that. They want compliant slaves whom they can use as they see fit. Unfortunately, the Masters and their Minions here in HK believe that they are somehow imbued with the sole power to rule and that we are their subjects while many people in HK believe that the government should come from the people so that its rules will comply wiith the will of the governed. No lack of patriotism. Significant lack of accepting the role of slave because that is what the masters want.
321manu
Not surprisingly, for the true blue CCP stooges, judicial independence is deserving of scorn. After all, in the "CCP way", judges and the legal system are merely the tools to be used to punish dissent in a way that can be passed off as justice to the most gullible of folks...which happens to describe the CCP stooge cohort.
Of course, for free-thinking sentient beings, judicial independence and judicial "honesty and competence" are not dichotomous choices. But again, presenting false dichotomies and related logical fallacies are all that CCP stooges seem capable of these days.
The choice for HKers is clear: go the CCP way, and see their judges lose their independence, their need for honesty, and any usefulness for competence, since they will simply become yes-men (and the henchmen) for the CCP (heck, even Pierce m'boy or a trained monkey could do that); insist on maintaining the HK way, and actually keep the rule of law in something other than a laughable sense, at least for a few more decades if they're lucky.
chuchu59
Throw in our tycoons as well for good measure and you have a solid case of 'unpatriotism'.
53ad776f-e90c-421e-968b-08e30a3209ca
袁國強is a selling out Hong Kong's core value, a shame on the profession.
pslhk
manure who can’t tell opinions from facts
can keep entertaining its worse than monkey stool self
by masticating why there is no such thing as international law
and how declaration of independence is based on common law
Who cares to expose nogician’s latest rubbish?
There is only correct way to treat manure
I flush
321manu
LOL. Is the lack of US duty of care for Rwandans a matter of opinion? Seriously, I maintain that when you try to make an argument is when you're at your funniest. Well done.
What time is it? Nap time? I hope you're well-diapered up.
I'm still coming up with funny riffs on Poet Monkey Judge. THis should be fun.

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