On gay marriage, moral judgment should have no place in Hong Kong courts

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 June, 2018, 7:02pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 June, 2018, 7:01pm

The recent Court of Appeal decision regarding the rights of legally married same-sex couples not only flies in the face of stated government policy – a non-discriminatory approach to all, regardless of race, colour or sexuality – but is embarrassing because the opinions of the learned judges undermine the value and force of both their words and their thought process.

The role of the court is not moralistic. Morals are subjective. The law and its interpretation should be objective. Sharia law has no standing in Hong Kong; nor, legally, do other moral codes.

Ruling a setback for Hong Kong’s image as a fair and tolerant city

It is indisputable that homosexuality is no longer illegal in Hong Kong, no doubt the learned judges would agree.

In Hong Kong, I would suggest that the court’s role is to interpret the law: no more, no less. Second-guessing perceived public opinion falls outside the ambit of the judiciary.

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There is much mention in Hong Kong of “the rule of law”. Have the learned judges forgotten Dicey’s rules, which underpin both the concepts of fairness and of the separation of power?

Richard Macnamara, Wan Chai