Court ruling on transgender marriage raises hopes for other minorities

The 7th International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia Hong Kong Rally with the theme 'Born This Way', calling for the elimination of discrimination through love and tolerance. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Last week, the Court of Final Appeal ruled that it was unconstitutional for the government not to allow Ms "W", who was born biologically male but underwent surgery to become female, to marry her boyfriend.

Tuesday, 21 May, 2013, 4:15am

Questions over impartiality of judicial system in Taiwan

A sign erected by a TV station outside a Taipei district court during the trial of Lin Yi-shih, who was found guilty of extortion. Photo: AFP

The recent acquittal of a former top aide of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou on corruption charges has been widely criticised by the media and the public, with fresh concerns raised about the long disputed impartiality of the island's judicial system.

8 May 2013 - 5:41am 1 comment

Top court gets new permanent judge

Joseph Fok

Appeal judge Joseph Fok will replace Mr Justice Patrick Chan Siu-oi as a permanent judge of the city's top court from October. Chan will become a non-permanent judge when he turns 65 that month. He was in private practice from 1977 until he became a district judge in 1987.

9 Apr 2013 - 4:31am

Our free trade demands justice

Custom officers inspect the luggages of people at Lok Ma Chau. The recent absurd situation over baby milk powder is the result of barriers to free trade. Photo: Edward Wong

Influential groups in Hong Kong seem to have less and less idea of why the territory exists as a separate entity, what makes it distinct and what makes it thrive, for reasons that are hard to replicate elsewhere. 

7 Apr 2013 - 1:42am 5 comments

Trusted judge who fought for legal integrity of city

Illustration: Lau Ka-kuen

Mr Justice Michael Hartmann may not be the most publicly visible judge to have served in the High Court but few equal his reputation for handing down rulings that are consistently liberal, except, perhaps, for Mr Justice Kemal Bokhary.

1 Apr 2013 - 5:06am 1 comment

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.

24 Mar 2013 - 4:49am 1 comment

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

Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li says people have strong views

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

Hong Kong's rule of law in safe hands, says judge

Mr Justice Michael Hartmann

Hong Kong's judiciary will remain as independent and well-respected as it is today regardless of what cynics may say, according to a top judge. Mr Justice Michael Hartmann (pictured) did not specify which cynics as he highlighted the judiciary's critical role in Hong Kong's post-1997 prosperity.

15 Mar 2013 - 5:49am 4 comments

Watch action-hero films and legal dramas, Chongqing mayor advises judges

Chongqing Mayor Huang Qifan speaks at the Chongqing delegation's group discussion during the National People's Congress. Photo: Reuters

Chongqing's mayor believes there are two types of films judges should watch: action-hero films and courtroom dramas.

12 Mar 2013 - 7:01pm

China’s future success depends on rule of law, says Locke

The US Ambassador to China Gary Locke. Photo: AFP

“China has a bright future, but this success depends on the implementation of rule of law,” Locke stressed in Beijing on Monday.

26 Feb 2013 - 7:08pm 2 comments

US killer drones need judicial oversight

Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen in 2011. Photo: AP

The US still struggles to reconcile security against terrorism with its core democratic values of the rule of law and respect for human rights. A reminder is an operational memo provided to senior members of congressional intelligence committees, lifting a veil of secrecy over the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki in a remote-controlled US drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

9 Feb 2013 - 6:44am

Chief justice accuses lawyers of being cold and big-headed

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

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

Experts say judicial independence would lead to political reform

Experts say judicial independence would lead to political reform

Mainland legal experts are calling on the new Communist Party leaders to implement reforms for judicial independence, saying it would be the first step towards political reform in the country.

17 Jan 2013 - 4:07am 1 comment

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

Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li delivers a speech at The Ceremonial Opening of Legal Year 2013 at City Hall. Photo: Sam Tsang

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

Joining the judiciary on the mainland

Professor Gu Minkang

Becoming a judge in Hong Kong and on the mainland are two very different things.

31 Dec 2012 - 5:35am