Rights of the Accused

Find alternative to custodial remand

The presumption of innocence is fundamental to our system of justice. When it comes to release on bail for people accused of crimes, however, the principle has to be weighed against the interests of justice and the community.

Tuesday, 17 April, 2012, 12:00am

Legal practice

In 2005, after She Xianglin had spent over 11 years in a mainland prison for the alleged murder of his wife in Hubei , the woman was discovered still alive, and living with a new husband in Shandong. The missing woman's relatives had previously identified a female body found in a pond as hers, and She was forced by investigators to confess to a non-existent crime of murder.

16 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Review says 'double jeopardy' rule should be relaxed

The Law Reform Commission yesterday proposed relaxing the double jeopardy principle in exceptional circumstances - allowing a person to be tried for the same crime twice.

29 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Families could get right of silence in court

A new rule allowing spouses, parents and children to refuse to testify against each other in criminal proceedings may be included in the revised Criminal Procedure Law that has its first reading this week.

23 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Citic Pacific hid losses from banks, court told

Citic Pacific, which posted the biggest currency loss by a Chinese company, obtained HK$1.75 billion in bank loans without disclosing that it had lost money, a court heard yesterday.

10 Mar 2011 - 12:00am

Principle of double jeopardy under review

An accused who has been acquitted after a criminal trial may have to go through the ordeal a second time, after the Law Reform Commission yesterday proposed relaxing the legal principle of double jeopardy in exceptional circumstances.

12 Mar 2010 - 12:00am

Shortfall in pretrial resources an injustice for legal aid clients

The rule of law requires that the criminal justice system is equitable, which means defendants can defend themselves effectively in criminal trials. Otherwise, the cardinal common law principle of 'innocence before proven guilty' will ring hollow. In Hong Kong, as in many other places, only the rich are able to hire private lawyers in criminal cases. Most other defendants depend on legal aid.

26 Jan 2010 - 12:00am

Convictions row should prompt reflection

Hong Kong is rightly proud of its independent and impartial judiciary and reputation for fair resolution of court cases. So when a leading lawyer attacks the apparently high conviction rate in the higher courts, even comparing it to North Korea, this naturally sparks controversy.

19 Sep 2009 - 12:00am

Lawyer silent on Hunghom role

Lawmakers yesterday questioned a long-time friend of former housing chief Leung Chin-man about his involvement in court proceedings surrounding the Hunghom Peninsula development in 2003.

5 Jun 2009 - 12:00am

Legislator urges law change to punish unapproved wiretapping

Legislator James To Kun-sun has suggested changing the surveillance law to include punishment for law enforcers who carry out unapproved wiretaps.

14 Feb 2009 - 12:00am

Smuggler wins review on detention

A Nigerian drug smuggler yesterday won the right to argue for his release from a detention centre while he fights deportation.

Court of First Instance judge Anselmo Reyes granted Edward Wilson Ubamaka's bid for judicial review a month after the Court of Appeal said almost 400 immigration detainees were being held illegally.

22 Aug 2008 - 12:00am

Skin Privilege

Skin Privilege

By Karin Slaughter

Century, HK$198

Karin Slaughter grew up in Georgia, in the southern US, in small towns much like those of the fictional Grant County, the location for her best-selling Grant County series.

14 Oct 2007 - 12:00am

Assurances over spy bill fail to reassure lawyers

The legal profession remains doubtful that lawyer-client privilege will be respected after the covert surveillance bill becomes law tomorrow, despite officials' attempts to allay fears the measure will be abused.

8 Aug 2006 - 12:00am

Witness protection scheme could harm accused, says barrister

An accused could suffer injustice because of an ordinance that allows law enforcement agencies to keep information about a protected witness from the court and the defence, a veteran barrister said.

3 Jul 2006 - 12:00am

Change introduced to allay spying bill fears

The government is to introduce an amendment to its surveillance bill, strengthening provisions to protect lawyer-client confidentiality.

But lawmakers at the Legislative Council Bills Committee meeting yesterday questioned whether the amendment went far enough, warning it might still be too vague.

13 Apr 2006 - 12:00am