Push to give animal-cruelty laws more teeth

Animal groups have renewed calls to update laws and establish an animal police unit after the death of a dog, which had been rescued just days before it died. So far 50,000 people have signed an online petition pressing for better animal protection, lawmaker Roy Kwong Chun-yu said.

Call to protect Hong Kong’s animals after spate of poisonings and dog thrown from rooftop

Animal-lovers in Hong Kong have demanded the government crack down on animal cruelty with new laws and a dedicated police squad to deal with abusers, after at least 13 dogs were poisoned in just over a week, 12 of them fatally. More than 50,000 people signed a legislator’s petition for action after the spate of deaths, and the case of a dog killed by being thrown from the roof of a high-rise building.

Former Bar Association head: Members will unite behind new chair Philip Dykes to face challenges

The Progressive Lawyers Group’s Craig Choy told HKFP that he was very happy about the outcome of the election as he had supported Dykes’ list, and five of the six members won seats. Asked about his expectations towards Dykes, Choy said that he hoped he could continue to be vocal on behalf of the Bar Association: “I’ll be content if he can respond to society’s expectations and the wishes of the public. The upcoming year is especially critical because of the three major issues — the national anthem law, Article 23 [of the Basic Law] and other matters relating to the co-location arrangement.”

【國歌法殺到】中港法制存異 法政匯思憂人大再釋法

《國歌法》本地立法在即,法政匯思發言人蔡騏指出,中港兩地法制存在差異,對於法律字眼的理解亦有不同。內地就國歌法就不尊重國歌行為條文的演繹,可能與香港出現不同理解。就如立法會議員宣誓案中,兩地對莊嚴一詞的理解差異,引發人大主動釋法,6名議員因而喪失資格。日後本港國歌法的條文想法會否有機會引發釋法,令人擔憂。

【國歌法殺到】民主國家罰則全面睇 大狀:多限制或抵觸國際公約

內地《國歌法》經已實施,港府正就本地立法草擬法案文本。法政匯思比較多個地區國歌法相關條文,發現相對尊重人權的民主國家,較少在相關法例內訂罰則,對奏唱行為亦較少規範。法政匯思召集人蔡騏質疑,若香港未來立法條文,與內地國歌法相似,勢影響言論、表達及創作自由。

兌現成立法政匯思承諾 任建峰卸任召集人

「法政匯思」成員任建峰(圖)噚晚正式卸任召集人同埋核心小組成員嘅職銜,淡出組織,將時間畀番家人。任建峰話3年前成立「法政匯思」,已經講明只做3年,當時好多人都唔信佢,事實證明佢係會兌現承諾。

Police look into whether Hong Kong justice chief ‘intentionally misled’ bank to secure mortgage

Police are looking into complaints filed against Hong Kong’s beleaguered justice minister, with sources saying one line of inquiry will be whether she “intentionally misled” a bank to secure a mortgage without mentioning an illegal basement at her house.

《有話直說》一地兩檢硬通過?

Thank you FinTV (現代電視) for interviewing our member Chris Ng on proposed co-location arrangement: 「其實我們不是不支持起高鐵,但若真的破壞了《基本法》,會留下影響深遠的法律漏洞,當中關乎香港人日後各種權利的保障,我們要思考這樣的代價是否值得。」

Beijing’s ‘distortion’ of Hong Kong Basic Law greatly undermines rule of law, legal experts warn

On Wednesday, China’s top legislature – the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) – approved the plan following a unanimous vote and months of controversy. Hong Kong will effectively surrender its jurisdiction across a quarter of the new West Kowloon terminus, where immigration procedures will be performed by mainland law enforcement agents. Beijing’s “distortion” of the Basic Law in justifying the Express Rail Link’s joint checkpoint arrangement has greatly undermined Hong Kong’s rule of law, legal experts have warned.

下月8日提訊 料親身上庭

民政事務局前局長何志平將於明年1月8日於紐約提訊(arraignment),屆時控方將宣讀控罪,何志平須回答是否認罪。法政匯思成員、美國執業律師Jason Y. Ng表示,除非出現健康問題,否則被告一般要親身出席提訊。

依法限提訊後70日開審 律師指變數仍多

根據美國法例,控方提交起訴書後,案件一般需在70日內開審,但若法官認為有理據,可暫停計算70日限期。有美國執業律師估計,案件開審前仍有可能因安排外國證人到美國出庭等原因而申請豁免計算70日限期,有律師甚至預計案件至少一年後才會正式審訊。

Free speech, selective enforcement and opacity: Problems with the ‘dishonest use of computer’ offence

In 1999, a man named Tsun Shui-lun, a technical assistant at Queen Mary Hospital, retrieved the medical records of the then-Secretary for Justice, Elsie Leung, and proceeded to share them with his friends, family, and the media. He was subsequently found guilty of section 161 of the Crimes Ordinance, a charge which cameinto effect in 1993 and criminalises “access to a computer with criminal or dishonest intent.”  Almost two decades later in 2016, a 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of the same charge – for posting erotic writing involving rape, even though the story had been marked as a “work of fiction.”

The naked truth on drones Watching people in bath is OK, lawmaker mocks

Barrister Craig Choy Ki said drone-peeping at someone bathing without recording did not violate the privacy law. "In a legal context, the definition of personal data requires the data to be recorded in a format. Also, the person involved has to be identifiable in the data," said Choy who is convener of the Progressive Lawyers' Group.

Looming national security laws raise fresh fears for Hong Kong’s freedoms

Amid calls from Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing elite for sweeping new national security laws, government advisers and lawyers say the legislation is likely to be tougher than proposals shelved 14 years ago, raising fears about the city’s cherished freedoms. Those demanding urgency for the long-delayed Article 23 are using a fledgling independence movement in the former British colony as justification – even though the independence debate would have been allowed when Article 23 was first proposed in 2003. Lawyers, diplomats and activists fear the new pressure could lead to legal “overkill” in an open city already struggling with increased interference from Beijing’s Communist Party rulers.

All parties deny involvement after US arrests ex-Hong Kong top official Patrick Ho on multi-million dollar bribery charges

All parties involved in the alleged bribery scheme engulfing former Hong Kong official Patrick Ho have denied any involvement, after the Ugandan foreign ministry said it was erroneous to link its minister to Ho. Ho, 68, was arrested in New York last weekend. He stands accused of facilitating multi-million dollar bribes destined for top officials in Chad and Uganda. The funds were transferred via Hong Kong and New York on behalf of a Chinese company to allegedly secure oil rights. If convicted, he faces 20 years in jail. Jason Y. Ng, a New York-qualified attorney and member of the Progressive Lawyers Group, gave HKFP his views on the incident.

Transport chief defends transparency of co-location plan

Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan said the government has been doing its best to make the co-location deal between Hong Kong and mainland China as transparent as possible. He dismissed criticism that the co-location arrangement is a “black box” operation, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports. Barrister Chris Ng Chung-luen, a spokesperson for the Progressive Lawyers Group, said Hong Kong courts might refuse to accept any challenge against the plan once it is approved and endorsed by the NPCSC, to the detriment of ”one country, two systems”.

法律界倡電視停播國歌免擾民

內地版本的《國歌法》要求奏唱國歌時,在場人員應當肅立。現時本港多個電視頻道都會定期播放國歌,法政匯思召集人蔡騏指,若聽見國歌便要肅立,「好似『123、紅綠燈』咁,過馬路都要停,唔realistic(現實)」,認為法例應規定播放國歌及需要肅立的場合,「泰國睇戲前會播國歌,遊客都會企起身,如果唔想就遲啲入場」。

Tsang boosts high-powered legal team

The high-powered legal team of former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam- kuen appears to be ready with a strong argument against a second retrial on a graft charge being ordered at the High Court today. "If a verdict cannot be reached after two trials it really says something about the quality of evidence and the nature of the charge," said barrister Randy Shek of the Progressive Lawyers Group. However, he added, it is not a formal rule and there could be an exception given Tsang's status as a former top official and the gravity of the charge.

法律界料一般不重審 身分特殊有變數

法政匯思成員、大律師石書銘則指,控方須考慮公眾利益、重審會否對被告造成不公及控罪嚴重性等,再決定是否申請重審。他指,一般而言案件兩次未能達至有效裁決,控方都不會申請重審,惟這並非法例,沒有約束力,加上本案所牽涉的人物本身地位和行為相對特別,若控方申請重審亦可理解。

【國歌法】馬恩國引述立法五核心 法律組織︰只是自說自話

全國人大常委會即將審議將《國歌法》納入《基本法》附件三,香港政府發言人今午(2日)表示,準備以本地立法方式實施《國歌法》,未立法前不會執法。不過,正隨團訪京的民建聯執業大律師馬恩國引述基本法委員會主任李飛稱,港府要處理刑事部分,並指《國歌法》至少有五點「核心要素不能少」。 有本地法律組織認為,由於須經本地立法,所謂核心要素,都只是自說自話。有律師質疑,民政事務局轄下委員會所製廣告截取國歌並穿插對白,都屬「二次創作」。