Barristers line up after an appointment ceremony for senior counsel outside the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong in June 2019. As a matter of course, the top court hears matters and writes its decisions in English. Photo: AP
Barristers line up after an appointment ceremony for senior counsel outside the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong in June 2019. As a matter of course, the top court hears matters and writes its decisions in English. Photo: AP
Stuart Hargreaves
Opinion

Opinion

Stuart Hargreaves

In patriotic Hong Kong, why are most of the top court’s judgments only available in English?

  • Many Court of Final Appeal judgments – including those of great relevance to everyone – are not officially translated into Chinese, depriving the majority of reading the decisions in their own language
  • The symbolic messaging of a legal system that continues to treat English as the ‘high’ language cannot be ignored in postcolonial Hong Kong

Barristers line up after an appointment ceremony for senior counsel outside the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong in June 2019. As a matter of course, the top court hears matters and writes its decisions in English. Photo: AP
Barristers line up after an appointment ceremony for senior counsel outside the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong in June 2019. As a matter of course, the top court hears matters and writes its decisions in English. Photo: AP
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