Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Justice, Ms Teresa Cheng, SC, at a media session at the Legislative Council Complex today (April 17):
Reporter: Secretary, according to your professional opinion, does filibustering constitute misconduct in public office? Is the Department of Justice (DoJ), or will the DoJ be studying whether anything should be done about the House Committee situation? Second question regarding the Reuters report, are you basically saying that some of these concerns expressed by senior judges are basically unfounded? Since these concerns are not going away as they are raised over and over again, is there anything the DoJ is going to do about it?
Secretary for Justice: The DoJ is not going to comment on any specific acts, especially if those specific acts are now under the scrutiny of certain investigation or law enforcing agency, allegedly. We do not know what is happening, and therefore it would be inappropriate for me to comment on any specific case, so pardon me for not directly answering the first question. I have given you the elements regarding misconduct in public office, and whether a particular individual will or will not meet that particular situation will depend on the evidence and the applicability and the context and everything.
As to the report from certain reporting about our judicial independence, I think it is extremely important that I utilise this opportunity to ask you all to look at what the Chief Justice has said on April 15, after those reports came out. I do not have the exact English wording here, but you will see from those wordings that the Chief Justice stated that since his taking office in 2010, he has not encountered nor experienced any interference from the Mainland authorities in any shape or form that affects judicial independence, including the appointment of judges. I think that is a very important matter that I hope all should take into account when looking at the article. Nothing is better than the direct evidence of the Chief Justice himself telling us that there is not any such interference. Thank you.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Friday, April 17, 2020