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Published: 17:34, December 01, 2021 | Updated: 23:14, December 01, 2021
HK justice chief: Attacks against judiciary unacceptable
By Wang Zhan
Published:17:34, December 01, 2021 Updated:23:14, December 01, 2021 By Wang Zhan

Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah delivers a talk before more than 180 principals and teachers during a training course on the rule of law on Dec 1, 2021. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)

HONG KONG – Attacks against members of the judiciary are unacceptable in a law-abiding society, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah said Wednesday.

Speaking a training course for teachers and principals, Cheng noted the recent instances of intimidation against judges and judicial officers and said that it is fundamental to the rule of law that everyone should respect court decisions and obey court orders.

Attacks made against the judiciary simply based on the outcome of cases, or made with an attempt to exert undue influence on judges by means of doxxing or threats of violence, are not only unacceptable in a law-abiding society, but will also be to no avail, Cheng said.  

Attacks made against the judiciary simply based on the outcome of cases, or made with an attempt to exert undue influence on judges by means of doxxing or threats of violence, are not only unacceptable in a law-abiding society, but will also be to no avail, said Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah

Cheng emphasized that judicial independence is the cornerstone of the rule of law, buttressed by security of tenure, the immunity of judges, and, most importantly, the Basic Law guarantee of judicial independence, free from any interference.

The city's justice chief said that Hong Kong has been making progress in international rankings on the rule of law since Hong Kong's return to the motherland.

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The Worldwide Governance Indicators project of the World Bank Group showed that Hong Kong's percentile rank in respect of the rule of law was 69.85 in 1996.

With the full implementation of "one country, two systems" and safeguards provided for by the Basic Law, Hong Kong's score reached 74.75 in 2000, and has been consistently above 90 since 2003, demonstrating that the city’s rule of law has a solid foundation, Cheng said.

The training course, titled "Reinforcing the Rule of Law", was co-organised by Endeavour Education Centre and the Education Bureau, and supported by the Department of Justice.

Attended by more than 180 principals and teachers, the course aimed to provide teachers with a proper understanding of the rule of law, the Constitution and the Basic Law, as well as the importance of national security.

Cheng also stressed that Article 63 of the Basic Law guarantees that all prosecutions are controlled by the DoJ, free from any interference.

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All prosecutorial decisions are based on evidence and applicable laws and prosecutions would be instituted only if there is sufficient admissible evidence to support conviction, Cheng said.

The DoJ has been carrying out this constitutional duty in a professional and fair manner, she added.

Cheng also said that improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is within the purview of the central authorities.

The improved system ensured the balanced and orderly political participation of the Hong Kong community as well as broader representation, Cheng said.

She called on electors to cast votes in the Legislative Council Election on Dec 19, to build a brighter future for Hong Kong.

READ MORE: HK judiciary announces more transparency measures for courts

It was the second time for Cheng to deliver a talk at the training course. She was joined in Wednesday by Director of Public Prosecutions Maggie Yang, who gave a presentation on offenses related to illegal drugs, cyber bullying, and forgeries.


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