法政匯思由衷地感謝今年七一仍然無懼烈日和風雨出來遊行的每位香港市民 (Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all of you who braved the sunshine and the rain to march on 1 July).
Craig Choy of Progressive Lawyers Group told Tagesschau (a German television news service) that rule of law in Hong Kong is still fairly satisfactory but we are facing threats from all front, from the pro-government establishment to Chinese government. That is why we must defend the rule of law.
July 1, an ambivalent occasion for many, marks the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from the United Kingdom to China. 21 years ago, despite widespread cynicism, ex-governor Chris Patten welcomed this momentous occasion labelling it a “cause for celebration.” However, as the story has unfolded, it seems that the scepticism of many has borne more and more weight. After all, the ‘one-country, two systems’ policy for Hong Kong was the brainchild of the same Chinese leader, who less than a decade ago, summoned hoards of armed soldiers and a mob of tanks to commit one of the deadliest massacres of the 20th century.
「香港人，係乜嘢驅使你今年7.1又出嚟遊行呀？係貪得意丫，定行禮如儀呀？」 「係中聯辦同黨報不會懂的堅‧愛同責任呀！」 老老竇竇，喺呢個政府對民情置若罔聞嘅世代，一埸社會運動嘅所謂「成功」，不在於有冇帶來咩實則嘅改革，而在於參與人數的多寡。你會話：挑！咁做嚟做乜？
July 1 – the day which marks Hong Kong’s handover to China. July 1 – the day known for its celebratory fireworks display, but more importantly, for its symbolic annual march. In the two decades since the establishment of the Special Administrative Region, the march has become synonymous with political discontent, serving as a platform for the public and pro-democracy activists to lobby for genuine democracy and universal suffrage. In 2003, 500,000 demonstrators joined the march, forcing the government into an embarrassing climb-down on its proposed national security law.
上月底，法政匯思有幸能邀得電影《地厚天高》的導演林子穎小姐及監製崔允信先生到我們的每月聚會作嘉賓，與一眾會員分享電影的創作背景，並探討香港獨立電影的定位和出路。(We were honoured to have Miss Nora Lam, Director of Lost in Fumes, and Mr Vincent Chui, Executive Producer of the movie, join us at our monthly meeting in June. They shared with us the background of the movie and the future of Hong Kong's independent movie industry.)
自2015年成立以來，法政匯思積極參與過共三次由民間人權陣線組織的七一遊行。 本週日我們的成員將再次參與遊行和在灣仔軒尼詩道344號昌業大廈對出位置(近天樂里）擺設街站。(The Progressive Lawyers Group has taken an active part in each of the 3 annual July 1 marches organised by the Civil Human Rights Front since it was established in 2015. It will again do so this Sunday. Our members will be marching in force and setting up a street stall near Cheong Ip Building, 344 Hennessy Road, Wanchai (near Tin Lok Lane).)
Progressive Lawyers Group member Geoffrey Yeung shared his views with Vox on the recent events in Hong Kong which pushed back on #LGBTQ rights including the Hong Kong government’s decision to remove LGBTQ-themed children’s books from public libraries and the Hong Kong’s high court’s decision to overturn a landmark ruling that gave health benefits to the husband of a male civil servant.
行政長官林鄭月娥早前宣布引用《調查委員會條例》成立調查委員會調查沙中綫鋼筋施工問題。這當然不是政府第一次成立調查委員會，較近期的，如南丫島海難及鉛水事件，政府也曾就這些牽涉重大公眾利益的事件，成立過類似的調查委員會。 那麼，所謂的調查委員會是如何組成的？誰去決定它的職權範圍？它的權力有那些？接受調查的人士或機構，是否需要負上刑事或民事的法律責任？這些問題，我們都可以透過《調查委員會條例》（香港法例第86章）（“該條例”) (以下條文除特別註明，皆來自該條例）略窺一二。
法政匯思對於 2016 年旺角暴動案中三名被告就其角色而被判處的刑期十分關注。三名被告分別被判處三年半至七年等長期的監禁。(The Progressive Lawyers Group is deeply concerned by the recent conviction of three activists for their role in the 2016 Mong Kok riot. )
Hong Kong’s judiciary remains widely admired for its independence. But the numbers of worriers are growing. “The discretion of prosecutions is ultimately held by a political appointee. There is no insulation from that political process,” says Alvin Cheung of New York University [who is also a member of the Progressive Lawyers Group].
Regrettable. That was Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's response to critics of the six-year jail term imposed on localist leader Edward Leung Tin-kei for rioting. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Progressive Lawyers Group, Chris Ng Chung-luen, questioned the High Court's refusal to take personal background as a mitigating factor. Speaking on a radio program, he said the court has the responsibility to rehabilitate people, meaning it should consider basic mitigating factors.
自2015年7月爆發轟動全球的「709大抓捕」起，中國政府打壓維權律師的行動已持續近三年。雖已接近尾聲，但打壓行動並未停止，而是從「刑事抓捕」轉變為更為隱秘的「行政懲戒」——即直接吊銷或註銷維權律師的執業證，剝奪維權律師的執業權。據我們觀察，在最近8個月內，全中國已有17名維權律師及3間事務所陸續被吊銷或註銷執業證。對此，我們表示強烈譴責，並認為，中國政府的做法已嚴重違反中國憲法、律師法及國際法有關尊重和保障律師執業權利及公民權利的國家義務，中國政府應當立即無條件撤銷對受影響律師作出的吊銷或註銷執業證的各項決定，並停止對維權律師群體的一切管控和打壓 (The Chinese government has continued its repression against human rights lawyers for almost 3 years since the start of the sensational and unprecedented “709 Crackdown” in July 2015. While the crackdown has seemingly come to an end, the suppression has not yet ceased. Apart from the manoeuvre of criminal detention, the Chinese government has now resorted to a subtler form of repression, administrative penalty, which involves revocation or invalidation of lawyers’ legal practice licenses, thus depriving them of their right to practice law).
我們是一群對《國歌法》本地立法存有極大憂慮的團體。2017年內地《國歌法》在香港社會的爭議聲中列入《基本法》附件三後，政制事務局早前公布本地立法的《國歌條例草案》建議條文內容概要（下稱「條文概要」）及召開公聽會作所謂「收集意見」。雖然政制局局長聶德權多次表示市民無需過度擔心立法，但綜觀整份建議條文及政府近月的回應，均無法解答及釋除我們對《國歌法》本地立法的各種問題及疑慮。(Click for English version)