Date
16 December 2017
Geoffrey Ma, chief justice of the Court of Final Appeal, says the handling of cases relating to the street protests underlined Hong Kong's sound legal system. Photos: Reuters, HKEJ
Geoffrey Ma, chief justice of the Court of Final Appeal, says the handling of cases relating to the street protests underlined Hong Kong's sound legal system. Photos: Reuters, HKEJ

Hong Kong top judge lauds rule of law amid protests

A top judge is praising rule of law in Hong Kong, saying it is holding strong at a critical time.

Geoffrey Ma, chief justice of the Court of Final Appeal, said it is inspiring to see people having respect for the law despite their different views about the pro-democracy protest movement.

Ma made the comment at a Hong Kong Bar Association event Wednesday, hours before a court-ordered clearance of the main protest site in Admiralty, according to reports.

The High Court issued the injunction in favor of a transport group.

Ma said all parties were represented by senior lawyers at their hearings and most of the defendants received legal aid, underlining Hong Kong’s “sound legal system”.

He stressed the importance of an independent judiciary, saying any decision by the courts must balance the interests of all concerned parties given that social relationships are intertwined.

People are concerned about the future of Hong Kong but society can continue to make progress under the rule of law, he said.

He cautioned against twisting the law to suit a particular purpose and reminded lawyers about their obligation to educate the public.

Ma said Hong Kong people should focus on basic and positive things whenever they are uncertain about the future.

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TL/AC/RA

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