Judge takes aim at comments by Vice Premier
11 November 2019
This morning sees the online publication of Friday's Court of First Instance ruling by Justice Russell Coleman on the continuation of an injunction against doxxing the HK Police and their families, modified to make clear that it does not apply to legitimate "news activity", as defined in Section 61(2)(b) of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, following an application by the Hong Kong Journalists Association, of which your editor is an Associate Member.
Notably, the judgment at paragraph 15 names a Telegram group with "nearly 200,000 members as of 3 November 2019" which is the "main platform for such doxxing" - perhaps unwisely drawing more attention to it. We won't repeat it here. The channel appears to have been removed but has been replaced with another with the same prefix. There are also channels which are doxxing protesters too - and the Government has not seen fit to apply for an injunction against that. The Secretary for Justice appears to be adopting an asymmetric approach in seeking to protect the Police and their families but not the protesters and their families, keeping in mind that the vast majority of protesters in the last 6 months have not been violent.
The judgment also makes the following observations, which we take as an indirect reference to the comments of PRC Vice Premier Han Zheng, who told Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Wednesday (6-Nov-2019) that stopping violence in HK is a "common responsibility" of Hong Kong's executive, legislature and the judiciary branches. Justice Coleman writes:
37. So it may be that matters relating to what underpins the current social unrest in Hong Kong need to be dealt with, perhaps can only be dealt with, through political means. But that is not what gives rise to the application now before this Court.
Justice Coleman is a former Chairman of the HKBA.
© vnintl.com, 2019