Sunday, November 11, 2012

Justice in Hong Kong

Between Hong Kong and mainland China, HK certainly has the better judicial system.  Most fair-minded people would agree and many have said so.  It has a longer history and stronger foundation.   It has more respect for human rights and dignity.  It is more tied into international laws and practice. It has withstood tests and challenges over a long time.  Consequently people have more confidence in it.

Most importantly, Hong Kong people have developed a healthy respect for law and order.  They abide by the law not just because of fear; there is, of course, some of that.  But they do it also because that is what is expected, that most people are behaving the same way.  That just feels the right thing to do.  They line up for the bus automatically.  Even when they are upset, they protest peacefully.  They cheat too (e.g., students in examinations).  But when they are caught, they have the decency of feeling ashamed.  That is the true foundation of the law and order.  Not just a set of well written laws that people simply try to get around.

If that is the case, why do some people insist that Hong Kong should listen to the mainland in matters of the judicial system?  Why is that the judges in Hong Kong should follow the instructions of the government officials in mainland China?  Why should experts with proven experience listen to people with no credibility?  Why is it that the laws of a more highly developed community should be dictated by a less highly developed community?  In a reasonable world, it should be the other way round, shouldn't it?

What is more upsetting is that this demand is coming from some people who have lived in Hong Kong for a long time, people who have enough experience in Hong Kong to know the difference.  The only reason that I can think of is political expedience - that some people want to say things to please people in power.

That’s what gets some Hongkong people very angry. 

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