在此報告，我們概括了2018年度影響香港法治的事件，提供法律分析，並向政府及其他持份者作出建議。(Great thanks to our team and media friends for making the launch of our inaugural Rule of Law Report a success! In our Rule of Law Report 2018, we record events which affected the rule of law in Hong Kong in 2018, provide legal analysis of the same, and make recommendations for the government and stakeholders.)
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.
Barrister Randy Shek of the Progressive Lawyers Group criticised the police for a “lack of self-restraint” when handling pro-democracy protests. “The duty of police is to defend and enforce the law, but their acts have infringed upon our constitution,” Shek told HKFP. The Basic Law guarantees Hongkongers the rights to a range of freedoms, such as of peaceful assemblies and of expression. He said that though there are limits to these freedoms, the restrictions must be proportional and prescribed by law.
Four anti-parallel protesters found guilty of police assault and obstruction – including a woman was said to have attacked a police officer with her breasts – appeared before the High Court on Wednesday morning to appeal the conviction and sentence. One of the defendants has asked to submit a new video clip to the court.
Just to recap: Superintendent Franklin Chu King-wai, the former commander for the Sha Tin Division, was filmed hitting pedestrians unwittingly caught up in a protest in Mong Kok on November 26, 2014. Some pedestrians were in the path of the said baton and obstructed the baton in the due execution of its duty.
Although the “statement of findings” has not yet been published, and the case is currently under appeal, the court’s decision seems vexing to say the least. It is obviously improbable that anyone who intends to assault another person would choose to do so with her breasts. On the contrary, in most criminal cases involving physical contact between a hand and a breast, it is the person who touches the breast that is convicted of indecent assault.
(SCMP) The Progressive Lawyers Group on Monday questioned Yuen's failure to defend the judiciary against what the group saw as "unwarranted attacks on the judiciary". "We ... call on the secretary for justice, who under common law tradition and convention is tasked with being the ultimate defender of the judiciary, to speak out clearly and forcefully against such outrageous and scurrilous attacks on the judiciary," the group said in a statement.