26 February 2018

Neville Sarony

EJ Insight contributor
  • Given the shortage of judges at the High Court, the Hong Kong government should have tapped a retired legal professional, rather than a sitting judge, to head an inquiry into Saturday's deadly bus crash, observers say. Photo: HKEJ

    Bus crash inquiry: Who should be heading it?

    - Feb 13, 2018 8:16am
    A Public Inquiry establishes the facts, identifies those responsible for wrongdoing and makes recommendations with the aim of preventing or limiting a recurrence. To ensure that the public is assured about the integrity of the Inquiry’s...
  • Despite being a rich city, Hong Kong has a substantial portion of its population living in dismal, cramped conditions. Authorities are accused of not doing enough to resolve the common man’s woes. Photo: Bloomberg

    Take me to your leader

    - Jan 29, 2018 10:07am
    When I was an officer cadet, we were given a tactical situation and directed to come up with a solution. After we had all given our answers I asked my company commander Major Langley “What was...
  • Supporters of retired Police Superintendent Frankly Chu (inset) rally outside the court on Wednesday. Chu was sentenced to three months in jail for hitting a pedestrian with a baton during the 2014 Occupy protests. Photos: RTHK/HKEJ

    Hong Kong Calibans

    - Jan 5, 2018 10:08am
    I shall not embark on an analysis of the sentence imposed on the retired Police Superintendent Frankly Chu. If he is aggrieved he is at liberty to appeal and, in the remote possibility that the Department...
  • There is an unbridgeable gap between our liberal, democratic common law system and the Chinese Communist Party’s iteration of the judicial function. Photo: Bloomberg

    The quality of justice

    - Dec 27, 2017 2:08pm
    Hong Kong’s legal system is sleepwalking to disaster. Currently, Hong Kong is Asia’s only corruption-free, common law system of justice in which people can have confidence. We still have a body of judges untainted by corruption...
  • 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...

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