Court Systems

A bulwark against the abuse of power

Judicial review is a means by which anyone can challenge the actions of government they contend are an abuse of power. Thanks partly to legal aid, many people actually do so.

Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 10:58pm

Court denies Tony Chan's plea to halt legal battle

A magistrate yesterday refused to hear self-styled fung shui master Tony Chan Chun-chuen's application to halt criminal proceedings against him, saying that decision should be left to the court where Chan will be tried.

22 May 2012 - 12:00am

Appeal thrown out over ruling on misconduct

The city's top court dismissed the government's appeal against a ruling that it said wrongly restricted its power to lay misconduct charges against civil servants.

3 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Maid's residency defeat

HONG KONG - A landmark ruling allowing the city's 290,000 foreign domestic workers the right to gain permanent residency has been overturned on appeal. Three High Court judges rejected last September's ruling by a lower court. The ruling had backed the application by Filipino maid Evangeline Banao Vallejos (pictured) to settle permanently, as other foreign residents can after seven years.

30 Mar 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

No interference in justice, declare HK legal figures

A string of senior figures in Hong Kong's legal system have defended the impartiality and independence of the judiciary against public and political interference, after a year of controversial cases.

10 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

Tried and tested

A good and faithful judge,' wrote Horace in the Odes, 'prefers what is just to what is expedient'. Court cases are sometimes controversial and can attract wide interest. The public and the media will often express their views on the merits of a case, perhaps in strident tones. This is inevitable in a free society, but safeguards exist to protect the integrity of the related legal proceedings.

25 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Tai Hang high-rise saga back in court

A 10-year legal struggle over a plan for two high-rises in Tai Hang that has already been all the way to the Court of Final Appeal is back in court.

The Building Authority is asking the High Court to quash an appeal tribunal's decision to approve the development after the plan was referred back to it by the top court.

30 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Justice of peers

What role, if any, should ordinary citizens play in determining guilt and punishment in criminal cases? Some Chinese courts, dissatisfied with the mixed tribunals of one judge and two lay assessors that hear many of their cases, have been experimenting with so-called people's juries whom they consult before making decisions.

20 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Legal aid aside, judges play key role in ensuring fairness of trial

Neville Sarony offers laypeople a glimpse through the looking glass into a London silk's view of the administration of justice in Hong Kong ('The silk purse', April 29).

13 May 2011 - 12:00am

Battle looms over poll challenges

The government has proposed an amendment to the electoral law that would limit poll candidates' challenges to Court of First Instance decisions to the Court of Final Appeal. Constitutional affairs secretary Stephen Lam Sui-lung said this would shorten legal battles, but lawmakers fear it would unfairly limit the right of appeal and cost more than appeals to the Court of Appeal.

18 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

A chance goes begging as the post office fails language test

A company director whose home and office were searched in connection with a fraud investigation involving Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was thwarted in her attempt to question Italian officers who were part of the raid - in part because the post office could not decipher the Italian for 'Court of Appeal'.

31 Jul 2010 - 12:00am

Diocese schools challenge fails

The Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong failed in an attempt to get permission to take its challenge against the government's school management reforms to the city's top court yesterday. The diocese sought leave in the Court of Appeal to 'ask a question of great and general importance' at the Court of Final Appeal, but the appeal court denied the application.

4 Jun 2010 - 12:00am

Top court gives order to speed up petition cases

The mainland's top court has ordered judges around the country to speed up handling petition complaints and applications for retrial that involve lawsuits against the government, especially cases in which petitioners tried to seek redress in Beijing and provincial capitals.

24 May 2010 - 12:00am