Publications

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.

任建峰:澳洲同性婚權調查與香港平權運動

上星期,澳洲近月所作的同性婚權全民郵寄問卷調查結果出爐。在近八成參與了問卷調查的選民當中,約62%支持同性戀者享有婚權。結果一出,香港不少同志平權推動者都表示感到鼓舞,認為香港亦應盡快在這議題上仿效澳洲及其他西方國家。 我個人支持在宗教團體得到有限度但仍要合理的保障前提下的民事同性婚權,但我同樣認為香港同志平權運動要謹慎演繹澳洲問卷調查結果,然後再評估他們在香港可怎樣向前走。

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.

【法政巴絲】瞇埋眼就睇唔到?

天氣稍涼,怕冷的女友已嚷着要去台灣浸溫泉。我剛好完成了一個大 project,請了一天假,便雙雙去享受長周末了。 碰巧台北舉行同志遊行,一向支持同志平權的女友拉着我一起去湊熱鬧,說要慶祝台灣有望同性婚姻合法化。其實我原本不太願意參加,因為難得放假外遊,竟然將時間花在與我無關的遊行上,但11萬人歡樂共融的氣氛感染了我。乘車前往集合地點時,因封路而塞車,但司機沒有半點不滿。3小時的遊行路線經過很多主要道路,當局非常配合地封路或指揮交通,沒有將遊行人士視為搞事份子的敵意。途人和沿途商戶會為大家打氣,沒投訴阻礙做生意。可見台灣人很尊重大家表達意見的權利。

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。

社會對同性戀者的偏見

因荷李活大亨溫斯坦(Harvey Weinstein)涉嫌性侵犯女性而燃起的指控名人性侵犯趨勢繼續蔓延。最新而又知名度最高的被指控者,是殿堂級演員奇雲史帕西(Kevin Spacey)。根據美國演員Anthony Rapp的指控,他在14歲時曾被當時26歲的史帕西企圖性侵犯。

法政匯思:主席之決定權是否至高無上?

立法會財務委員會主席陳健波計劃用主席權力,推出「主席指引」,限制議員拉布。由於他是行駛主席權力,故認為不需要聽取委員之意見,亦不需要作投票表決。到底主席權力是否至高無上,讓主席能按個人喜好去訂下規則進行會議? 作為財委會主席,最重要的責任是確保會議能順利進行,因此,理論上主席似乎應有絕對權力作個人判斷,但實際執行時是否需要按照合理的標準? 其實這問題在法律層面上仍無確實答案,而事實上,令人感到無奈的案例在其他國家亦偶有出現。

【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」。

基本法與法治 (Basic Law and Rule of Law)

日前法政匯思成員吳宗鑾大律師受邀到香港教育大學作客席講者,向約40位大學生講解基本法,何謂法治,及基本法的實踐。

人大常委審刑法草案辱國歌可囚3年 律師:難效國旗法照抄引入香港

法政匯思成員黃鶴鳴接受《852郵報》查詢時表示,《國歌法》難和《國旗法》直接比較,因所有在港實行的刑事法律,用字都要十分清晰,以免市民誤墮法網,而《國旗法》規限的屬具體行為,如燒或剪爛,甚至倒插國旗等,但唱國歌則有所不同,例如以不同曲風演唱國歌、奏國歌時的神情肢體動是否算侮辱,都是含糊有待澄清之處,故不能《國旗法》直接類比《國旗法》。

‘Co-parking’ in Tsuen Wan: HK$1,500 for 12 days

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.

Hong Kong gov’t urged to enact freedom of information law after 20 years of delays

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.

Asia’s world city? Hong Kong ethnic minorities feel targeted by police stop and search actions

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.

Three Years After Occupy, Hong Kong Democracy Movement Stalled, ‘Divided’

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."

‘A landmark judgment’: Legal experts and banks react to Hong Kong’s key LGBT court ruling

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.”

法政匯思就有關高速鐵路香港段一地兩檢安排的陳述書 (Submission on Express Rail Link Co-Location Arrangement)

政府最近宣佈其就内地-香港高速鐵路香港段的邊境管制安排及管轄權事宜的方案。簡單而言,政府建議於西九龍站設置邊境及海關管制設施的一地兩檢安排,及内地在西九龍站若干範圍內及所有運作列車上擁有刑事管轄權。 法政匯思認為該建議明顯及直接違反《基本法》的多項條款,特別是第17、18、19及22條。 就政府方案如何違反《基本法》的詳細分析,詳見中文版完整陳述書。(The Government has recently announced its proposal on the border control arrangements and jurisdictional matters in relation to the Mainland-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (“XRL”). In short, the Government proposes a co-location arrangement of border and customs control facilities at West Kowloon Station and the Mainland to have criminal jurisdiction to be exercised at some areas of West Kowloon Station and on all operating trains. The Progressive Lawyers Group (“PLG”) is of the view that such proposal is in clear and direct contravention of numerous provisions of the Basic Law, in particular, Articles 17, 18, 19 and 22. For the detailed analysis of how the Government's proposal violates the Basic Law, please read further.)

對政府建議一地兩檢方案的法律問題 (FAQs on Hong Kong Government’s Co-location Proposal)

法政匯思就政府建議高鐵香港段實施一地兩檢為大家準備了常見問題解答,以供參考。(Progressive Lawyers Group has prepared a list of FAQs on the Government's proposal on co-location arrangement at the West Kowloon Terminus. Please take a look!)

法政匯思:法治的醬缸

羅馬的傾覆並非一朝一夕,一套制度由運作良好至死亡可能經歷幾代人的時間。香港的法治也不會因為一宗上訴庭的刑期覆核而壽終正寢,但不代表不應以宏觀的角度,定期為香港法治把脈,看他是否仍血氣暢順,抑或已是氣若游絲。