HK’s Chief Justice Says Courts Not Influenced By Politics

If only this were true. Even if interference is minimal now … just give the mainland a few years.


Judge Ma is fighting a losing battle


Hong Kong Courts Are Independent of Politics, Top Judge Ma Says
Hong Kong’s judges administer justice based only on the law and aren’t influenced by political considerations, Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma said today.

“The administration of justice by the courts is not, nor can it be, influenced in the slightest by extraneous factors such as politics or political considerations,” Ma said at the opening of Hong Kong’s legal year. “The courts and our judges apply only the law.”

Members of Hong Kong’s Law Society ousted their president in August after he supported a China policy paper calling Hong Kong judges administrators who had to be patriotic. Court proceedings related to last year’s street demonstrations protesting China’s decision to vet candidates in the city’s first election of its leader in 2017 were decided strictly according to the law, Ma said.

“This is precisely how the Hong Kong judiciary operates on a daily basis,” the judge said. “It will always continue to do so in this way.”

Hong Kong’s judicial independence is protected under the city’s constitution, the Basic Law, Ma said.

Pro-democracy demonstrators occupied key parts of the city for 79 days, demanding China rescind its decision for candidates to be vetted by a 1,200 member committee of the city’s elite. The Chinese and Hong Kong governments refused to make any concessions and the final demonstrators were cleared by police from the last site in Causeway Bay on Dec. 15.

Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen said in his speech that civil disobedience aimed at achieving universal suffrage is not a justification for unlawful conduct.

“Any further unlawful activities, especially massive ones, would only do further harm to our community,” Yuen said.

The Justice Department will not allow prosecutions to be used as a means to achieve political revenge, he said, according to a text provided by the government.