DoJ responds to comments on case

December 2, 2020

The Department of Justice (DoJ) emphasised that the court administers justice in accordance with law.


The DoJ made the statement today in response to the comments from local and overseas communities concerning the sentences of three defendants who pleaded guilty to charges in the case WKCC2289/2020.


The DoJ explained that as the legal proceedings of the case have not yet completed, it will not comment on it at this stage.


The statement noted that the magistrate in the Reasons for Sentence stated: "Since this case involves disruption of public order and safety as well as threatening the personal safety of members of the public, in order to protect public interest and safeguard the life and property of citizens, I believe that penalties with deterrence are necessary.”


The statement stressed that human rights and freedom in Hong Kong, including freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, are fully protected by the Basic Law.


However, such freedoms are not absolute. As the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal at the Ceremonial Opening of the Legal Year 2020 stated that: "We see clear limits in the law to the exercise of rights. The enjoyment or insistence on one's rights does not, for example, provide any excuse to harm other people or their property, or to display acts of violence."


The DoJ added that the three defendants pleaded guilty to their charges and said that those who absurdly demanded for their immediate release not only disrespect Hong Kong’s judicial system but also manifest their blatant denial of the fact that the defendants themselves pleaded guilty.


The DoJ pointed out that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is committed to upholding the rule of law.


It indicated that Articles 63 and 85 of the Basic Law stipulate that the DoJ shall control criminal prosecutions, free from any interference, and the courts of the Hong Kong SAR shall exercise judicial power independently, free from any interference.


It is unbecoming and irrational for people making sweeping attacks and baseless accusations against our judicial and legal systems without reference to the fact and circumstances of the case.


Such statements, if made with a view to exert undue influence on our judicial and legal systems will be futile, the statement added.

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