Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Justice, has dismissed criticism that the government is taking the legal route to resolve the political standoff amid the Occupy protests.
“Although courts can’t resolve a political issue, citizens are entitled to seek a solution from the court if the political issue involves legal problems,” RTHK quoted Yuen as saying Tuesday.
The remarks came after Andrew Li Kwok-nan, a former Chief Justice of Hong Kong, said the pro-democracy protest is a political issue and that it shouldn’t be put up to the court for resolution.
Some groups affected by the street blockades have petitioned the court and won injunctions against the occupation, Yuen noted, adding that there was no bid by the government to exploit the law.
That said, if a political problem gives rise to legal issues, courts should be brought into the picture to uphold the rule of law, he said.
On Tuesday, court bailiffs enforced an injunction against street barricades near Citic Tower in Admiralty district, after a petition from the building’s management. The area had been occupied by pro-democracy demonstrators for several weeks.
Protesters put up little resistance when they were told to clear the site, which forms part of the broader protest zone in Admiralty. Bailiffs warned students that anyone who violates the court order could face contempt of court proceedings.
However, bailiffs faced a standoff when a Citic lawyer insisted on clearing barricades placed around the junction between Lung Wui Road and Tim Mei Avenue. Students argued that the injunction doesn’t cover that area. The lawyer eventually backed off.
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