Date
19 November 2017
Court of Final Appeal Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma (inset) says most Hong Kong people were respectful of the law during last year's democracy protests. Photos: AFP, HKEJ
Court of Final Appeal Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma (inset) says most Hong Kong people were respectful of the law during last year's democracy protests. Photos: AFP, HKEJ

Top judge defends rule of law in Hong Kong

Hong Hong’s highest judge said illegal acts by a few people don’t mean an impaired rule of law, Apple Daily reported Thursday.

But rule of law is harmed when a majority of society understands the concept and chooses to disrespect it, Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma of the Court of Final Appeal told the London School of Economics (LSE).

Apple Daily cited Hong Kong journalist and former radio host Wong Kit-wai who attendend the Feb. 24 function organized by the LSE student union.

The report was based on Wong’s interview by Hong Hong digital broadcaster DBC on Wednesday.

There are people who will not be satisfied with court rulings but the important thing is how these decisions have been arrived at, Wong quoted Ma as saying.

Ma said most Hong Kong people were respectful of the law during last year’s pro-democracy protests which turned into a 79-day occupation of major streets. 

He said investors will not come to Hong Kong if they think rule of law has been damaged.

The remarks came after the Hong Kong government and the central authorities in Beijing accused the protesters of breaking the law and wilfully defying court injunctions.

Ma said there are three ways to check the strength of the legal system — transparency in court trials, appointments of judges and reactions of litigants.

Court trials in Hong Kong are fair and open compared with those in the Chinese mainland, he said.

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TL/AC/RA

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