Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Monday, May 20, 2024

High time 'for courts to come of age'

High time 'for courts to come of age'

The courts should "move on from dinosaur age" and speed up the development of electronic services in the wake of the city's judicial system being paralyzed during the Covid-19 pandemic, said Ambrose Lam San-keung, who represents the legal sector in the Legislative Council.
Lam, a solicitor, told The Standard that 18 percent of all court cases were severely delayed and impacted in 2020.

"In the midst of the fifth wave in April 2022, the problem was exacerbated as the courts went further to announce they would no longer receive physical copies of documents, providing no viable alternatives to the receiving and delivery of electronic documents, and rejected the use of email correspondences, all of which led to turmoil in the judicial system," he said.

Lam said many arbitration organizations in the SAR adopted the use of electronic documents during the same period, and no problems related to confidentiality have arisen from the new methods.

"Is there any legitimate basis as to why the courts in Hong Kong, which are supposed to act in an open and transparent manner, find the use of electronic documents problematic?" he said. "Countries, including Singapore, Dubai and the mainland, have led in progressive reforms on the digitalization of their court systems, leaving Hong Kong far behind."

Lam said Singapore pioneered the adoption of an electronic filing system as early as the 2000s, while online hearings have been widely adopted in the mainland.

"They went so far as to adopt technology that would help transcribe hearings into reports, and these records would then be handed over to both the prosecution and the defense for confirmation purposes at the end of the same day," he said.

"The use of such digital devices and technologies in the courts significantly shortened the time needed to process legal documents and correspondences."

Lam also said Hong Kong is suffering from a lack of judges, adding that the judiciary's annual reports in past years showed the average waiting time for a criminal hearing to be scheduled in the high court was 383 days while that for civil hearings was between 90 and 180 days.

He would raise the issue in a meeting of the subcommittee on proposed senior judicial appointments today.

Lawyers also said that in some cases, judgments were only handed down one to three years after the hearings were completed, he said.

"As a practicing lawyer of more than 30 years, I find the situation astonishing and concerning - for we pride ourselves on the rule of law in Hong Kong, because we have impartial, just and fair procedures in the courts," Lam said.

"The lack of judges and prosecutors might lead to irreparable damage to rule of law, but these problems are not without solutions."

Hong Kong should act promptly to fully develop the SAR as the "center of international legal and dispute resolution service" in the Asia-Pacific region and a world-renowned legal service center providing exceptional legal services, he said.

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.