Independence of the Judiciary

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

Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li. Photo: Sam Tsang

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.

Sunday, 24 March, 2013, 4:49am 1 comment

Independence day

Independence day

"The independence of prosecutorial decision making," said Nicholas Cowdery QC, past president of the International Association of Prosecutors, "is the rock on which we stand." When deciding on cases, prosecutors must act independently. Moreover, like judges, they must also be seen to be acting impartially.

3 Dec 2012 - 6:52am 3 comments

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

Going it alone

Salaries for judges will be delinked from the civil service scale to enhance judicial independence. Do you think this goes far enough or do you agree with those who say the system needs legislative backing? Write to us.

22 May 2008 - 12:00am

Independent courts a must, says expert

Recent reshuffles of provincial judges have not solved the deep-rooted problems plaguing the judicial system because the judiciary is still not independent, a leading legal scholar believes.

26 Dec 2007 - 12:00am

New talent must be groomed for judiciary

One of Hong Kong's chief advantages over its regional rivals is the strength of its rule of law and for that, we are indebted to the experience and wisdom of our judiciary. Their dedication to ensuring the law is properly implemented and disputes fairly adjudicated is central to our city's success. The strength of the judiciary lies largely in the quality and experience of its judges.

31 Jul 2007 - 12:00am

Reforms depend on doing justice to grass-roots courts: judiciary

The crux of China's judicial reform is to ensure grass-roots courts have enough well-trained judges while reducing political intervention in verdicts, senior court officials say.

14 Mar 2006 - 12:00am

Speculation on court reforms quashed

Amendments aimed at strengthening judicial independence appear in doubt

Beijing last night poured cold water on recent speculation about reforms of the mainland's court system amid ongoing revisions to the judicial organisation law.

8 Dec 2004 - 12:00am

Chief justice vows to reform courts

The mainland's chief justice has vowed to step up judicial reform and strengthen independence in the mainland's court system.

Xiao Yang , president of the Supreme People's Court, said judicial independence was not constrained by the political system.

13 Nov 2004 - 12:00am


Hugh Tyrwhitt-Drake is right to call for our judges to take a voluntary reduction in their pay ('What kind of judges?' South China Morning Post, May 5).

8 May 2003 - 12:00am

Judiciary impartial: officials

Victory for the Government in court cases does not mean judicial independence is being undermined, officials said yesterday.

The assurance was given by the Department of Justice in a paper to legislators.

18 Apr 2000 - 12:00am

'Rule of law still working'

The Court of Appeal's ruling in favour of 17 mainland 'overstayers' last Friday showed the rule of law had not been undermined, according to the Government.

But the Bar Association said legal disputes triggered by the reinterpretation furore would repeatedly put judges' independence to the test.

14 Jun 1999 - 12:00am

Certainty in Judiciary 'increased'

Seeking Beijing's reinterpretation of the Basic Law has increased certainty in the judicial system, a government lawyer said yesterday.

Judicial independence was intact as there was no interference with the Court of Final Appeal while it was considering the right of abode issue, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Arthur Luk Yee-shun said.

3 Jun 1999 - 12:00am

Law without politics

Of all the issues surrounding the handover, few are more crucial than the independence of the judiciary. It is the keystone of the common law, which underpins so many aspects of life and commerce here.

12 Feb 1997 - 12:00am

Complaint channels

The Legal Department has at last decided to apply for Judge Brian Caird to withdraw from a case in which he is alleged to have come under pressure from two fellow judges and the New Zealand Government. It should have done so last week, when the Judiciary announced a full inquiry into the allegations.

28 Aug 1996 - 12:00am