Tighten law to prevent snooping, Hong Kong legislators urge

Ronny Tong

Under the city's surveillance regulations, law enforcement agencies need a court warrant to carry out covert operations. In 2011, a total of 1,221 authorisations were issued - 1,196 for interception and rest for surveillance. But the law does not cover snooping by private citizens or foreign intelligence.

Monday, 17 June, 2013, 8:59am 9 comments

'Corporate veil' cast aside as UK court rules on divorce settlement

Yasmin Prest

A landmark ruling in Britain, in which the Supreme Court found that company assets held by a spouse can be handed over as part of settlement claims, is likely to affect divorce proceedings in Hong Kong.

16 Jun 2013 - 6:42am

Hong Kong legal opinion divided on Edward Snowden extradition

Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee

Most agree that the Beijing government will choose to keep its hands off the political hot potato and leave Washington to cope with the embarrassment of Snowden's decision to leak its surveillance secrets. And one leading lawyer predicted that an extradition battle could drag on in the Hong Kong courts for anything up to five years.

13 Jun 2013 - 5:05am 1 comment

Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif will inherit a country torn by terror and turmoil

Former two-times Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is set to become Pakistan's prime minister for the third time after 14 years. Photo: EPA

Nawaz Sharif is set to become Pakistan's prime minister for the third time after 14 years. His Muslim League-Nawaz party emerged as victor in the historic polls, which marked the first democratic transition from one civilian government to another in the country's troubled political history.

15 May 2013 - 3:06am

No need for independent legal aid service, say advisers in U-turn

The report said there had been no evidence of government interference in the Legal Aid Department, citing the case involving domestic helpers' right of abode as one of the examples. Photo: Sam Tsang

The legal aid service should remain in the hands of the government, according to the Legal Aid Services Council that has backtracked on a recommendation it made 15 years ago to set up an independent legal aid authority.

13 May 2013 - 10:09am 3 comments

ICAC urged to hand over former chief's case to police

Former ICAC head Timothy Tong has been cast under scrutiny.

The scandal surrounding former head graft-buster Timothy Tong Hin-ming should be investigated by the police, not the Independent Commission Against Corruption, to ensure impartiality, a former prosecutions chief says.

2 May 2013 - 5:09am 5 comments

Hong Kong homebuyers hail 'honest' sales law

Potential buyers browse the sales brochure of Hong Kong Ferry's Green Code residential project in Fanling. Photo: Nora Tam

Homebuyers have embraced a new law requiring developers to promote sales in a more transparent and honest way, although some said the provisions, which came into effect yesterday, were still unfamiliar.

30 Apr 2013 - 4:50am 7 comments

China's top judge Zhou Qiang urges increased role for defence lawyers

Zhou Qiang. Photo: Simon Song

China’s top judge Zhou Qiang’s called for lawyers and scholars to work together to reform the legal system, bringing new hope for an end to confrontations between judges and defence lawyers, and an increased role for these lawyers in court. 

29 Apr 2013 - 9:26pm

Will looking to the law solve society's morality problems?

Humble soldier Lei Feng became a household name and China's symbol of sacrifice for others after his death in 1962. Photo: EPA

Confucius said righteous men are those who care for the young and the aged. To Mencius, no one is indifferent to the suffering of others. Not any more. Two high-profile tragedies in 2011 speak volumes about the moral dilemma facing Chinese society today. The first concerned a two-year-old girl who succumbed to a hit-and-run car accident at a Guangdong backstreet in October 2011.

30 Apr 2013 - 3:53am

Against proposed dirty money law

Kevin Zervos. Photo: Nora Tam

Director of Public Prosecutions Kevin Zervos advocates the implementation of a civil forfeiture law that would allow the government to seize property before a criminal conviction or even criminal proceedings take place. He claims that this would make it easier to fight money laundering.

29 Apr 2013 - 2:06am

Law school graduates carry the nation's hopes for rule of law

Pivotal role

I remember vividly my first encounter with Tsinghua University. In 1995, Mr Hu Xianzhang, vice-president of the university, and Mr Wang Zhenmin called on me in Hong Kong. Mr Wang was then a young man and assistant to the head of the law department. They told me about the university's aspiration to restart law. I immediately appreciated the great significance and importance of this project.

27 Apr 2013 - 3:31am 3 comments

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

Geoffrey Ma Tao-li

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.

26 Apr 2013 - 11:23am 13 comments

A life in court: lawyers, robbers and other reptiles

Kemal Bokhary

It was a key court ruling on the "one country, two systems" principle that made Mr Justice Kemal Bokhary want to stay on as a permanent judge as he neared retirement.

24 Apr 2013 - 4:06am 2 comments

Failure to observe formalities can lead to danger

Professor Michael Lower

If land law brings any image to mind, it might be that of a pile of title deeds. Formality has a very important part to play in land law. When it comes to something as expensive and important as land, certainty is important.

23 Apr 2013 - 4:13am

Chief Hong Kong prosecutor wants easier way to seize dirty cash

Kevin Zervos

Director of Public Prosecutions Kevin Zervos said the fact that prosecutors need a criminal conviction before they can apply for a confiscation order is hampering their efforts.

22 Apr 2013 - 8:34am 6 comments