Hong Kong High Court allows reporting on key national security case

This will be interesting to see how the authorities will challenge this decision.

The courts aren’t yet gummy and have a few teeth left, let’s hope that it stays this way for a little longer.

Decision removes ban over proceedings on three charged under China-imposed law

Hong Kong’s High Court on Tuesday quashed a court reporting restriction for a landmark national security case involving a now-disbanded group that once organized the city’s annual candlelight vigils to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.

The decision by Court of First Instance Judge Alex Lee removes a ban on reporting imposed by a lower court magistrate and will allow open reporting of pretrial proceedings — known as committal hearings — in a Hong Kong national security case for the first time.

“The magistrate’s reasoning was totally in opposition to the principles of Open Justice that govern the exercise of judicial power in the context of restricting access to, or reporting of, court proceedings,” Lee wrote in a summary of the judgment, adding that the magistrate, Peter Law, had “erred” in his decision.

Lee also said the court “rejects” a contention by Hong Kong’s secretary for justice that lifting the reporting restrictions “would frustrate the ultimate aim of doing justice.”

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