Abuse of judicial reviews slammed - The Standard
The judicial review process against government policies has been abused, while a civil court process was invoked for a public order issue during last year's Occupy protest, a former top judge said.
Retired Court of Final Appeal judge Henry Litton also warned at a public forum yesterday that a "slow and costly" common law could be challenged before 2047.
Litton said he was "curious" about the handling of applications for injunctions to clear the Occupy protest site in Mong Kok last November, and described the orders as "extremely odd."
He said the government would have seized the initiative to launch the temporary injunction from taxi and bus operators if it was related to public order.
"A civil court process was being invoked for what I feel is a public order issue," he said.
Litton also cited "ritualistic justice" in two judicial reviews that should have been dismissed outright, specifically the challenges launched by student leader Yvonne Leung Lai-kwok and Cheung Chau resident Kwok Cheuk-kin, also known as the "king of judicial review" on the method for selecting the chief executive in 2017.
"If everyone in the government could be made a putative respondent, there does not need to be terrorist attacks to paralyze the work of the government," Litton said.
He said judicial reviews are not available for challenges to government policy. "That is a fundamental rule in the separation of powers," he said, adding the government has not done anything unlawful in the process of compiling the reform package.
He said the court should be kept out of this issue as, in the end, the reform proposal was voted by the Legislative Council.
"There are three equal pillars that sustain society. It is not the responsibility of the Judiciary to deal with these issues. The Judiciary has been asked to do too much," said Litton, adding judges have not been robust enough to clarify their responsibilities.
He believes society will soon start discussions on the future of Hong Kong's legal system.
"If at that time, the common law system seems to be slow, costly, obscure ... the question will be asked: how can such a system be put forward as a model for this global financial center?" Litton said.
He suggested that judgments should be brief and in simple not in unnecessarily difficult English so they can be translated into Chinese. He said Hong Kong must have a robust and vigorous legal system.
Audrey Eu rebuffs former CFA judge's criticisms
Last edited by threesummers; 04-12-2015 at 02:14 AM.
Why we cant take our Internet freedoms for granted
Last edited by threesummers; 04-12-2015 at 02:16 AM.
Opposition to `internet Article 23' gathers steam - The Standard
More than 50,000 netizens have signed a petition opposing the copyright amendment bill dubbed "internet Article 23" ahead of its second reading at the Legislative Council next Wednesday.
This comes as 23 groups including Scholarism and Umbrella groups Progressive Lawyers Group and Youngspiration said they would attend a gathering tomorrow to oppose the bill.
Initiated by the Copyrights and Derivative Works Alliance and Keyboard Frontline, the petition calls for the government to broaden copyright exemptions to all user- generated content instead of limiting them to parody, satire, caricature, pastiche and commenting on current affairs.
It pressed pan-democratic lawmakers to veto the amendment if the government refused to adopt the recommendation.
Under the proposed bill, some types of fan works may not be exempted from prosecution by copyright owners, according to the two groups.
They include musicians who upload their singing or playing of a copyrighted song, or illustrators who draw doujinshi or amateur manga publications based on published comics.
The two groups have advocated for Hong Kong to follow the Canadian model of exempting user-generated content, but this was rejected by the government.
Glacier Kwong Chung-ching, spokeswoman of Keyboard Frontline, agreed the current law needs an update.
But she said: "Unless the government exempts all user- generated content, lawmakers should veto the amendment."
The government introduced the copyright amendment bill into Legco in 2011 to update the law in line with technological advancement, but it eventually lapsed due to lack of protection for parody.
A new amendment bill was introduced last year which included more exemptions.
One controversial point in the bill is the introduction of criminal sanctions against those who profit from copyright infringement or "prejudicially" affect the copyright owners.
It is very likely that our judiciary will be their next target, and soon Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying could be using his superior status to interfere in the nomination procedure of our judges, to get his claws into Hong Kongs judicial branch, the final stronghold of our freedom.As the whole of China is shrouded in heavy leftist smog and the core values of Hong Kong are under serious threat, it seems we have no choice but to rise up and defend our freedom and rule of law, even if it costs us our lives.
Last edited by threesummers; 04-12-2015 at 05:06 AM.
Hong Kongs press freedom under threat - The Globe and Mail
. . . He believes that the new battlefield for press freedom will be cyberspace, including online media.
But Mr. Qiu is more positive on the future of Hong Kongs online media. The startup scene of online media is proliferating; a number of outlets were launched in the wake of the Occupy Central demonstrations. More encroachment on press freedom will have the reverse effect of strengthening solidarity among [Hong Kongs] people to safeguard their freedom, especially online and at critical moments of social change, says Mr. Qiu.