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.
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。
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.”
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.
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 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.
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”.
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.
With the limited supply and soaring prices of parking spaces in Hong Kong, some owners have adopted the sharing economy model to rent out their parking lots on specific days for a fee. In Tsuen Wan’s industrial area near the Sha Tsui Road and Chai Wan Kok Street, hk01.com has discovered that some parking lot owners have posted advertisements for motorists to “co-park” at their spaces. Duncan Ho Dik-hong, barrister and a member of the Progressive Lawyers Group, said the owner of the space should tell renters of the penalties for parking beyond the time limit and the limitations for co-parking in the lease.
IT sector lawmaker Charles Mok has said that civil groups will look into drafting a freedom of information law after criticising the government for making slow progress over the past two decades. The Archives Action Group, led by former director of the Government Records Service Simon Chu, along with the Progressive Lawyers Group, and lawmakers including Mok will look into drafting a bill.
British teacher and performer David Allen had just got on his motorbike on a busy street in Ho Man Tin last month when he was suddenly stopped by three police officers asking for his identification papers. It was not the first time he had been stopped by police. But this time, Allen decided to record the exchange because he wanted to show others the prejudice he has faced from police. “Based on my own personal experience, on occasion I have been singled out because of my skin colour. There seems to be a racial bias in policing,” he told HKFP.
Hundreds of democracy activists protested outside government headquarters in Hong Kong on Thursday, marking the third anniversary of the start of the Occupy Central campaign for fully democratic elections that brought hundreds of thousands onto the city's streets at its height. Kevin Yam, convenor of the pro-democracy Progressive Lawyers Group, said the struggle for democracy in the former British colony was unlikely to be achieved quickly, however. "This isn't a flash in the pan; it's going to take a lot of ongoing, hard work from everyone," Yam said. "We will have to swallow our anger and work patiently."
Legal experts have hailed the Court of Appeal’s “landmark” decision on Monday to rule in favour of a lesbian expatriate who was previously refused a spousal visa by the Immigration Department. Geoffrey Yeung, member of Progressive Lawyers Group, told HKFP: “[The] judgment is an important step towards equality for same sex couples in Hong Kong. It is a recognition that same sex relationships in Hong Kong are valid relationships.”