Hong Kong Politics & Protest

Top officials suing for defamation may give perception of bullying, says chief exec. candidate Woo

Chief executive candidate Woo Kwok-hing has said that top officials suing lawmakers for defamation may give the perception of bullying.

He was referring to the case of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying suing accountancy sector lawmaker Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong for defamation over the latter’s comments on CY Leung’s controversial payment from Australian firm UGL.

“I don’t think it is the administration meddling with the legislature,” said Woo. “But the tradition is that top officials will not sue lawmakers or anyone for defamation.”

woo kwok hing

Woo Kwok-hing. File Photo: Apple Daily, via Facebook.

“Officials enjoy a high status. If they sue anyone for defamation, it may give the perception of bullying – it is not very good. It is better to be a bit more tolerant.”

Woo said he will definitely not sue lawmakers for defamation if he is elected.

Foreign judges

Rao Geping, a legal expert and member of Beijing’s Basic Law committee, previously said that the proportion of foreign judges at the Court of Final Appeal was too high.

Woo, a retired High Court judge, said the number of foreign judges dropped gradually after 1997 as they retired or left Hong Kong.

“There aren’t a lot left. The number is not important – what’s important is that we have enough manpower to hear the cases,” he said. “Otherwise the cases will be delayed. We have a saying: justice delayed is justice denied.”

Court of Final Appeal.

Court of Final Appeal. Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Woo said foreign judges in Hong Kong can contribute to the common law system that the city is still using.

Meanwhile, Elsie Leung Oi-sie, the deputy director of the Basic Law committee, said it will affect Hong Kong greatly if the city’s foreign judges are no longer allowed to be judges, and that society should not consider appointing judges by race but by ability.

When asked about rival John Tsang, who said his team has a high morale and raised HK$5 million by crowdfunding, Woo said: “My team’s morale is obviously high. They may have a lot of money, but you can’t be jealous of that.”

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Top officials suing for defamation may give perception of bullying, says chief exec. candidate Woo