25 January 2020

Neville Sarony

Queen's Counsel
  • Carrie Lam and her master in Beijing, Xi Jinping, have been unmoved by months of protests by Hong Kong people demanding greater democracy, among other things. Photo: Reuters

    The disease of the quasi-dictators

    - Jan 2, 2020 12:57pm
    The world is dancing to the tune of a handful of psychologically flawed men and women. As George Woodcock, biographer of George Orwell wrote, ‘love of power is a sickness that shapes and corrupts not only...
  • Police officers detain a protester during a demonstration inside a mall in Hong Kong on Sunday. The city’s leader, Carrie Lam, is stubbornly rejecting calls for an independent inquiry into police conduct over the past six months. Photo: Reuters

    Voices in the wilderness

    - Dec 16, 2019 10:45am
    Have you noticed how when some people are accused of criminal behavior they suddenly find God? Often surrounded by their God-bothering friends, they hold pop-up prayer meetings just before entering the court room. God’s name becomes...
  • The concept of judicial independence and the separation of powers, which is one of Hong Kong’s core values, seem inimical to the political thought process of the central authorities in Beijing, the author says. Photo: Bloomberg

    Intemperate interpretation

    - Nov 20, 2019 6:02pm
    Who authorized Zang Tiewei to assert that Hong Kong’s High Court has no power to rule on the constitutionality of Carrie Lam’s executive order prohibiting face masks? Of course, it was to be expected that all...
  • Hong Kong’s Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng walks as protesters surround her in London on Nov. 14, in this still image from video obtained via social media. Credit: Chloe Leung via Reuters

    Teresa’s trip

    - Nov 18, 2019 1:31pm
    After almost five months of protests in Hong Kong, Teresa Cheng, current holder of the infamously inappropriately titled office of Secretary for Justice, took a trip to London, ostensibly to promote Hong Kong as an international...
  • Will Carrie Lam find the inner courage to do what is right for the people of Hong Kong amid the current crisis, our columnist wonders. Photo: Reuters

    Carrie the kipper

    - Sep 2, 2019 11:10am
    So, as some of us rather guessed, Carrie Lam is a kipper: two-faced and no guts. As Chief Executive, her powers are extensive and certainly include withdrawing a Bill and ordering a Commission of Inquiry. Indeed,...
  • Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam, seen here at a news conference on August 5, has come under scathing criticism in the wake of extradition bill saga and the ensuing social unrest in the city. Photo: Reuters

    Personal ego versus public trauma

    - Aug 12, 2019 10:29am
    Like most rational Hong Kong people, I earnestly wish that the current protests could be brought to a satisfactory and swift resolution. Carrie Lam’s suspension of the Extradition Bill constituted reluctant recognition of the legitimacy of...
  • Chief Executive Carrie Lam's intractable opposition to an independent commission of inquiry into recent violent incidents suggests she has something to hide. Photo: Reuters

    Svengali Lam

    - Jul 29, 2019 5:42pm
    Is Hong Kong the victim of a dastardly plot? Would it be wrong to observe that all too many recent incidents bear the hallmarks of evil hands at work? Lest we lose sight of the core...
  • The passion with which people are expressing their discontent beyond the shelving of the extradition bill is almost certainly the product of a long-standing and increasingly chronic loss of hope. Photo: Reuters

    Hong Kong blues

    - Jul 16, 2019 5:38pm
    Hong Kong is in the grip of a depressive disorder. What is depression? Psychiatrists have reduced it to a clinical definition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in its 5th Edition, known for...
  • Protesters break into the Legislative Council building during the anniversary of the handover on Monday last week. Photo: Reuters

    Reality check

    - Jul 8, 2019 10:23am
    Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour, Nor Man nor Boy, Nor all that is at enmity with joy, Can utterly abolish or destroy! (From Intimations of Immortality by W. Wordsworth)   Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng...
  • For those seeking to enjoy Dixieland jazz in an unpretentious setting, Ned Kelly’s is the place to go in Hong Kong, our columnist says. Photo: YouTube

    A musical correction to a false note

    - Jul 2, 2019 10:36am
    Recently, a friend brought to my attention an article in The Standard Newspaper. Written by someone who claims to have the interests of people at street level at heart, it was plainly intended to be a...
  • A police officer holds a sign to warn demonstrators in Hong Kong on June 12 amid a protest against a proposed extradition bill. Photo: Reuters

    Up the creek with Carrie the crocodile

    - Jun 14, 2019 10:47am
    I am an ex-soldier. In Singapore my battalion of Gurkhas worked together with the Singapore Police to control rioters, which is where I gained my experience in crowd control by disciplined forces. I am a barrister....
  • Protesters dress as Chinese police during a demonstration in Hong Kong on April 28 against the government’s proposed changes to the extradition law. Photo: Reuters

    Pearls before swine

    - May 31, 2019 11:32am
    “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” (Matthew 7:6) Arguably the most distinguished alumna...
  • Nowhere else in Central is there a restaurant like Grappa's Cellar which hosts live music, visiting musicians, dancing – in a word, "entertainment". Photo: Grappa's/Facebook

    Spare that Hong Kong icon Grappa’s

    - May 15, 2019 5:34pm
    “If music be the food of love, play on, give me excess of it.” So said Duke Orsino in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. But as it prepares to ring down the curtain on Grappa’s, Hong Kong Land...
  • Pan-dem lawmaker Claudia Mo is ordered evicted from the chamber by Legco president Andrew Leung (inset) on Thursday. Photo: HKEJ

    What’s in a word?

    - May 10, 2019 7:18pm
    Legislative Council president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen moved the goalposts when he had Claudia Mo Man-ching ejected from the chamber for accusing Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor of lying. It is a sad indictment of a decaying legislature...
  • The language of mediation calls for a philosophical approach in which the mediator, despite his or her pivotal role, becomes wholly self-effacing, writes Neville Sarony. Photo: Wikipedia

    Remediated mindset

    - Apr 29, 2019 10:24am
    As a professional advocate, I derive the greatest satisfaction from trials, either with a Jury or a first-class judiciary, so I have a vested interest in the process of litigation. Consistent with this preference, I used...
  • Integral to any inviolable decision is that those making the decision do not have a vested interest in the outcome, writes Neville Sarony. Photo: RTHK

    Why the move to skip outside counsel on CY Leung case was wrong

    - Dec 28, 2018 5:34pm
    “In this field of conflicts and sentiments I find delight”    — Samuel Johnson It has not been a good year to be christened Teresa. Leave aside the tribulations of Mrs. May, let us consider Ms....
  • One of the most basic legal principles is that 'justice must not only be done but be seen to be done'. Photo: Bloomberg

    Conflict ad nauseam

    - Oct 30, 2018 4:51pm
    A “conflict of interest” arrests the flow of blood in the circulatory system of the common law. Most people are aware of the principle that no one should be prosecutor, judge and jury in a case;...
  • The Foreign Correspondents Club has a long history of providing a platform for anyone who believes he or she has something of value to express, provided it can be done intelligibly. Photo: AFP

    To dream the impossible dream

    - Aug 9, 2018 1:51pm
    With thousand such enchanting dreams, that meet To make a sleep not so sound, as sweet. – Robert Herrick A Hong Kong independent from the People’s Republic of China is a pipe dream. But if we...
  • Hong Kong airport authorities have come under fire for tweaking a rule that required passengers to be present at the screening of all cabin baggage. Representational image: Bloomberg

    Alice in Aviation Land

    - Jun 27, 2018 10:05am
    The magnetic personality of C.Y. Leung, previously deployed to reunite a left-behind bag with his daughter right at the boarding gate at Hong Kong International Airport, continues to attract controversy. On March 28, 2016, the mislaid...
  • The government seems incapable of recognizing that the Legal Aid Department is, in effect, a giant firm of solicitors and that its officers are primarily lawyers whose decisions are subject to stringent professional ethics. Photo: Bloomberg

    The road to injustice

    - Jun 6, 2018 4:50pm
    “Why did you stop practicing in England?” is a question I am still frequently asked. As with virtually all life’s decisions, it was a combination of factors, mainly personal but underpinning the motivation was my perception...