Chief Justice lays down the law

Geoffrey Ma says it's important for Hong Kong's lawyers to keep the public informed about how the common law system works here. File photo: RTHK

Geoffrey Ma says it’s important for Hong Kong’s lawyers to keep the public informed about how the common law system works here. File photo: RTHK

Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma has spoken out against “confusing views” given to Hongkongers on the state of law and how the legal system operates in Hong Kong.

Speaking at a ceremony for the admission of a new senior counsel, the city’s top judge said it’s an important responsibility for all lawyers to keep the public informed about how the common law system works.

“It is perhaps not surprising that members of the public have, particularly in recent years, been given at times confusing views regarding the state of the law and how the legal system operates,” he said, adding that he said he had no doubt the Bar Association and individual barristers will continue to speak out in defence of the legal system.

Justice Ma said this ought not be a matter of any controversy, because the fundamentals of the SAR’s legal system are contained in the Basic Law.

“The importance of all this cannot really be understated,” he said. “Public confidence in the courts and in the practice of law is essential to any community which has the rule of law. And public confidence comes about through being fully informed of relevant matters.”

His comments come after Beijing’s top official in charge of Hong Kong’s affairs, Zhang Dejiang, last month rejected the notion of a separation of powers here.

http://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1335284-20170610.htm

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