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  • Jul 26, 2014
  • Updated: 4:08pm

Geoffrey Ma Tao-li

Top Hong Kong judge refuses to let solicitors wear wigs in higher courts

It's a ruling that may leave some solicitors tearing their hair out. The city's top judge, Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li (pictured), has refused their request to be allowed to wear wigs - historically a symbol of power and the preserve of judges and barristers - when they represent clients in higher courts.

Friday, 26 April, 2013, 11:23am 13 comments

Asking Beijing for legal interpretation will affect rule of law: chief justice

Hong Kong's top judge says the rule of law will be affected if the government seeks a Basic Law interpretation from Beijing after the Court of Final Appeal turned down a request to seek one itself. Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li made the remarks in a talk at the University of Hong Kong yesterday.

9 Apr 2013 - 4:20am

Helpers arrived on highly restrictive conditions

The Court of Final Appeal ruled that foreign domestic helpers were not considered "ordinarily residents" because they had entered Hong Kong under highly restrictive conditions.

Holding that the immigration law was constitutional and consistent with Article 24(2)(4) of the Basic Law, the top court has reaffirmed that the government had the power to impose immigration controls.

26 Mar 2013 - 4:50am

Hong Kong's top judges are best defence of independent judiciary

A robust defence of the judiciary and its independence by Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li and Justice Michael Hartmann is a good antidote to recent warnings about threats to its integrity and autonomy.

24 Mar 2013 - 4:49am 1 comment

Popular opinion won't sway judiciary, says Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li

The job of Hong Kong's "fearless judiciary" is to reach well-reasoned - not popular - decisions on cases, even those covering controversial issues such as immigration, the city's top judge says.

23 Mar 2013 - 10:17am 1 comment

Top court rejects abode bid by Hong Kong-born girl

The Court of Final Appeal on Tuesday refused an application by an eight-year-old girl born locally to mainlanders to join the right of abode challenge mounted by foreign domestic helpers.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Parents' assets targeted by son's ex-wife, court hears

A Harvard graduate in his mid-30s is urging the Court of Final Appeal to re-assess his ex-wife's claim for maintenance payments which he said would burden his wealthy parents.

The son had few assets of his own, and a court order obliging him to support his ex-wife would instead force his parents to "cough up the money", his lawyers yesterday told Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li.

25 Jan 2013 - 4:13am

Preserve common law after 2047: top Hong Kong judge

Common law should remain the basis of Hong Kong's legal system beyond 2047, the end of the 50-year guarantee stated in the Basic Law, the city's top judge says.

Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li also warned that the judiciary's authority would be undermined if the government again sought a Basic Law interpretation from Beijing in the way it did in the 1999 right of abode case.

24 Jan 2013 - 8:34am 30 comments

Chief justice accuses lawyers of being cold and big-headed

Some lawyers have huge egos while some judges need to develop more of a "human touch".

The verdict was delivered by Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li, who added that he didn't see himself as a successful figure - despite occupying the highest post in the judiciary.

24 Jan 2013 - 4:33am 2 comments

Strength of Hong Kong's judiciary should be an example to the mainland

Judges, in Hong Kong and elsewhere, are supposed to remain above the rough and tumble of politics and, when controversy whirls around them, they remain calm and, yes, judicious. Certainly, they do not ordinarily hold press conferences to defend their actions or explain their point of view.

16 Jan 2013 - 2:41am 1 comment