South China Morning Post
10 March 2017
In her book Justice without Fear or Favour published in 1999, former magistrate Marjorie Chui, the first Chinese woman on the bench in Hong Kong, launched a thinly veiled attack on the judiciary’s then heads, who were said to have allowed expatriates to continue to dominate the upper echelons of the court system despite the city’s imminent return to Chinese rule in 1997.
Almost two decades on, while similar sentiments occasionally surface in postcolonial Hong Kong, they have been eclipsed by a recent outpouring of grievances from across the border against the purportedly slow pace of localisation of judges here.
The hostile rhetoric, coinciding with Beijing’s assertion of its tough stance against the former British colony during the annual “two sessions” – meetings of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and National People’s Congress – contrasts with some regional rivals’ pronounced openness to enlisting the help of top judicial minds from other countries in order to advance their justice systems.
Professor Simon Young Ngai-man, of the University of Hong Kong’s law faculty, said the presence of foreign judges could reinforce the independence of courts in the city.
He cited the composition of the Court of Final Appeal and said the expatriate judges of the city’s top court were the most senior and experienced judges from the common law world.
“They bring their knowledge and expertise to the Hong Kong court. Their valuable insights could enhance the Hong Kong courts,” Young said... Click here to read the full article.
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