13 December 2017

Neville Sarony

EJ Insight contributor
  • Senior Chinese official Li Fei says advocacy of separatism on campus has much to do with the city not enacting Article 23 of the Basic Law. Photo: AFP/Reuters

    Pathetic propaganda

    - Nov 20, 2017 5:52pm
    If I want to start each day in a good humor I really should not read China Daily. Five minutes into it and my teeth are grinding. So, you ask, reasonably, “Why do you do it?”...
  • There was a time when Cathay Pacific was Hong Kong’s airline and we supported the home side. Photo: HKEJ

    Catharsis Pacific

    - Nov 2, 2017 5:34pm
    It is probably as unsportsmanlike as shooting animals in a game reserve but Cathay Pacific, like HSBC, Hong Kong’s other Aunt Sally icon, has an uncanny knack of inviting destructive criticism, an invitation I find irresistible....
  • Junius Ho's subsequent comments since calling for the killing without mercy of pro-independence advocates prove his homicidal intent. Photo: HKEJ


    - Sep 22, 2017 4:20pm
    “First let’s kill all the lawyers.” Shakespeare puts these words into the mouth of Dick, a thoroughly disreputable character in Henry VI, as part of his recipe for Utopia. As a lawyer reading the garbage uttered...
  • A protester dressed as a judge and holding a mask of Chinese President Xi Jinping stands outside the Court of Final Appeal during a protest against the jailing of pro-democracy activists on Sunday.  Photo: AFP

    Crime and punishment

    - Aug 23, 2017 4:21pm
    When I was a Recorder of the Crown Court of England and Wales, I regarded sentencing as a minefield and the most complex of my duties, in much the same way, I believe, as many judges...
  • Realpolitik means that the Communist Party of China can do whatever it likes with and in Hong Kong. Photo: AFP


    - Jul 28, 2017 11:01am
    MPA does not, as the Hong Kong government asserts, stand for “mainland port area” but “mainland power acquisition”. Realpolitik means that the Communist Party of China can do whatever it likes with and in Hong Kong...
  • File picture of President Xi Jinping (center) attending a variety show in Hong Kong, part of the celebration for the 20th anniversary of the city's handover to Chinese rule. Photo: Reuters

    Mr President, nothing to fear from Hong Kong but fear itself

    - Jul 12, 2017 9:49am
    I am hard pressed to think of anything quite as superfluous as President Xi’s flying visit to Hong Kong. His every move was choreographed with the precision of a Diaghilev ballet and the security of a...
  • Bias of any description is anathema to a sound judicial system. Photo: HKEJ

    Politics and the Law

    - Jun 14, 2017 1:55pm
    “You’re only a cypher.” This, addressed to me as a young barrister, unsettled me. My instant reaction was to take offense at the remarks. Yet the person who said it to me was an eminent barrister...
  • Well-wishers pay their respects to all those affected by the bomb attack, following a vigil in central Manchester. Photo: Reuters

    What’s in a name?

    - May 25, 2017 8:58am
    The aftermath of the Manchester bombing is a devastating tragedy for the dead, injured and their families and friends. Only those bereft of any human compassion will not react emotionally to the stricken grief of the...
  • Both Leung Chun-ying (left) and Donald Trump are obsessed with their rights and oblivious to their obligations. Photos: Bloomberg, Xinhua

    Here Be Monsters

    - May 17, 2017 2:28pm
    I am gravely troubled that people are prepared to countenance the fact that both Donald Trump and Leung Chun-ying have nothing but contempt for the people they govern. Consider first Trump and what for want of...
  • C.Y. Leung’s appointment as chief executive sounded the first death knell for Hong Kong as people knew it. Photo: CNSA

    Patriot or nationalist?

    - May 2, 2017 4:18pm
    Charles de Gaulle defined patriotism as “when love of your own people comes first” and nationalism as “when hate for people other than your own comes first”. George Orwell described patriotism as a positive emotion celebrating...
  • Erdogan’s successful campaign is a powerful reminder of what happens when a government controls the most powerful tool in electoral machinery - the media. Photo: Reuters

    Media in jeopardy

    - Apr 18, 2017 12:11pm
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s successful campaign to acquire dictatorial powers is a powerful reminder that the over-simplistic algorithm of ‘one man one vote’ does not equate to the concept of objective democracy. Perhaps the word...
  • The votes received by Woo Kwok-hing (seen here, speaking to reporters) in Sunday’s chief executive election is no reflection on the quality of his candidacy. Credit: Facebook/Woo Kwok-hing

    The art of losing well

    - Mar 29, 2017 3:57pm
    The words of a very wise and experienced Head of Chambers rang in my ears as I pondered Hong Kong’s recent election charade. It was early days in my career at the Bar and, flushed with...
  • In the 53 cases listed for hearing in the High Court on March 17th, 27 of the litigants were representing themselves. Photo: HKEJ

    The price of justice?

    - Mar 21, 2017 12:46pm
    Is Hong Kong suffering from restricted access to justice? On March 17th, in the 53 cases listed for hearing in the High Court, 27 of the litigants were representing themselves. Their opponents ranged from a variety of...
  • Ken Tsang takes a beating from policemen in a dark alley (inset). No overseas judges have been 'recruited' by Hong Kong since the handover in 1997. Photos: HKEJ,

    Whose flaws?

    - Mar 13, 2017 12:34pm
    Opinion is free but facts are sacred. Fact-free opinion is dangerous trumpery. Even allowing for the fact that it is only a newspaper which has seen better days, can there be any excuse for the SCMP...
  • Donald Tsang's conviction is a sad indictment of the man but a powerful reminder of the integrity of Hong Kong’s judicial system.  Photos: TVB, Reuters

    Would a retrial of Donald Tsang accomplish anything?

    - Feb 28, 2017 10:22am
    Convicted of misconduct in public office, an offense particularly apposite in relation to a person in high office, Donald Tsang was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment. Twenty months’ imprisonment is a very strange sentence for a High...
  • Xiao Jianhua's disappearance cannot be explained away by his published statement. And in such a case, can Carrie Lam be expected to stand up for the integrity of the rule of law?  Photos: Reuters, HKEJ

    Votive motivation

    - Feb 17, 2017 3:56pm
    Have we in Hong Kong become so accustomed to people being kidnapped from our midst and transported to secret locations in China that we now take it for granted? The latest incident of Xiao Jianhua seems...
  • Retired judge Woo Kwok-hing is not indebted to anyone or any organization other than his commitment to the Hong Kong SAR. Photo: Facebook/Woo Kwok-hing

    In whom we place our trust

    - Feb 3, 2017 11:21am
    In many if not most respects, the task of selecting someone to be chief executive of Hong Kong should be akin to recruiting an employee for a job. Curiously, though we are vaguely familiar with the...
  • Woo Kwok-hing is a broadly experienced, well balanced candidate whose primary loyalty is to Hong Kong. Woo is up against Carie Lam, John Tsang and Regina Ip (insets clockwise) in the chief executive election. Photo: Reuters, Bloomberg, HKEJ

    An open letter to the chief executive Election Committee

    - Jan 26, 2017 3:49pm
    Dear electors, I am crediting you with a modicum of intellect and, even though I have grave reservations based on past performance, a moral conscience. Neither of these attributes automatically connotes common sense, a quality that...
  • The decisions of the Court of Final Appeal not only reflect the jurisprudence of the common law but are held in the highest regard by jurists around the world. Photo: Bloomberg

    Flaw in the jewel

    - Jan 9, 2017 10:02am
    The trial of Donald Tsang is being conducted by Queen’s Counsel from London, both for the prosecution and for the defense. Both counsel had to apply to the High Court for leave to appear, a process...
  • The Christmas gift to the Baguio Villa owners will be to increase the wattage for the tennis court lights at no extra cost. Photo: Bloomberg

    A Christmas Carol

    - Dec 28, 2016 12:13pm
    It was Christmas Day in Chau Tai Fook’s golden grotto and Santa Claws, the father of the New World gathered his elves around him. “We must think of a suitable present for all those flat owners...

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