Constitutional Law

Electoral College means winning most votes may not win US presidency

Electoral college map

The United States is yet again staring down the barrel of a potential constitutional crisis as the race for the White House enters its closing stages.

Monday, 29 October, 2012, 12:07pm

Judicial reform will strengthen China's rule of law

The flagrant abuses uncovered in the cases of Gu Kailai (centre), Wang Lijun and Bo Xilai bring home the critical importance of the rule of law. Photo: AP

The release of China's white paper on judicial reform could not be more timely. Calls for change are ringing loud as the Communist Party prepares to hold its 18th national congress. The white paper's release this month places judicial reform squarely at the heart of political reform.

25 Oct 2012 - 7:19am

Small-house grant elevated to constitutional right under Basic Law

I am alarmed that the person tipped to be our next chief secretary could have suggested that the small-house policy is a welfare system and an overhaul is required ('End small-house policy, says Lam', June 14).

28 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Judiciary has rightful role as the 'auditor of legality'

Tsinghua University recently set up a research centre for the study of Hong Kong and Macau affairs in Shenzhen. The opening ceremony was attended by many prominent mainland academics, including some from the legal field.

On that occasion, they took the opportunity to offer advice to the new administration in Hong Kong that is due to take office on July 1.

22 May 2012 - 12:00am

Who gets to call a new land home?

Citizens of a country enjoy the right to reside, work and receive an education in that country. In most cases, they have the right to vote and are entitled to social welfare, including pensions and public healthcare. However, citizens' rights depend on how much their country can afford to offer.

9 May 2012 - 12:00am

Rifle club files second writ over lease

The government is acting like an ostrich in a row between a shooting club and the sport's governing body that is about to leave 600 gun enthusiasts with nowhere to practise, says a High Court writ.

16 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Independence of judiciary is vital

In one of his last speeches before his retirement as chief justice, Andrew Li Kwok-nang emphasised the importance of the independence of the judiciary, and the separation of powers between the courts, the executive and the legislature. It was a reminder that these principles lie at the heart of the success of our city's separate system.

12 Jan 2012 - 12:00am

Judicial reviews worth defending

Concerns have been raised that lawyers are abusing the legal process for personal gain by handling judicial reviews challenging government policies. These are serious allegations. Thankfully, there is no evidence to suggest that this is happening. Applications for legal aid are subject to rigorous scrutiny. The merits of each case are carefully examined.

21 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Too early for judicial review, top court rules

The High Court yesterday refused permission for a judicial review of the government's proposal to scrap by-elections, saying it was too early as the bill had yet to become law.

Mr Justice Johnson Lam Man-hon said the Court of First Instance would not interfere with the legislative process.

12 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Ruling with an iron fist

As one among the first generation of judicial personnel of the People's Republic, I have a deep under- standing of judicial reform in China. We started in the early 1950s, when there was no law. All Kuomintang laws were repealed. Judges were party cadres, peasants and soldiers. It was not until 1954 when the Chinese constitution was introduced that we began to have judges.

10 Jun 2011 - 12:00am

Catholic Church in no position to disobey law

The Catholic Church has long had a pivotal role in education. Many of the the best educational institutions around the world were founded by religious groups upon religious instincts of faith seeking understanding and self-improvement. In Hong Kong, schools run by the Catholic diocese are rightly viewed favourably for their high academic standards and moral discipline.

17 Dec 2010 - 12:00am

What constitutional crisis? It's a waste crisis we face

The current deadlock between the Legislative Council and the executive is indicative of Hong Kong's stunted political system. Our chief executive is selected by a small circle drawn mainly from business groups, yet, with this narrow mandate, he is supposed to head an executive-led government without formal support from a political party in the legislature.

17 Oct 2010 - 12:00am

Test of the government's sway in Legco

Last Wednesday, our Legislative Council set another record by holding the longest debate on a piece of subsidiary legislation on the first day of business of a legislative session, normally reserved for the delivery of the chief executive's annual policy address.

17 Oct 2010 - 12:00am

In the words of Geoffrey Ma, now the judiciary's most senior judge

'In the context of the Civil Justice Reform [which began in April last year], I have already expressed my disappointment that many members of the legal profession are still unaware of their responsibilities under the new culture. Some even use the new rules as new tools to embark on tactical games: these days, I believe, are severely limited.'

2 Sep 2010 - 12:00am

Lawmakers endorse Geoffrey Ma as top judge

The chief judge of the High Court, Mr Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li, received formal endorsement from the Legislative Council yesterday to succeed Mr Justice Andrew Li Kwok-nang as chief justice, amid increasing concern that the independence of the judiciary is under pressure.

10 Jun 2010 - 12:00am