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    监制:夏桂昌

    12/09/2019
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    Every word in provisions of law is laid down on paper and made open to the public so that everything is crystal clear, thus safeguarding the rights of members of the public and ensuring that they will not break the law because of incomprehensibility.

    However, provisions are words in essence. With changes in society and differences across cultures, the same words can be interpreted in different ways.

    Having been under British rule in the colonial era and returned to China’s sovereignty, all provisions of law in Hong Kong, a small port, had to be made bilingual from the original English version. Imagine how you would express in Chinese the meaning of “addition”, which concerns the extra vending space of hawkers. Moreover, what is the official Chinese term for “easement”, which underlines the right that allows you to pass by your neighbour’s property every day?

    This kind of conflict is not unique in bilingual provisions. Ambiguity is in fact rampant even in the Chinese provisions alone. In a real case, for example, a family engaged representative visiting service for their imprisoned family member. Yet, the Government believed that the law merely provided for visits by relatives and friends of a prisoner. If a person was not a personal acquaintance known to the prisoner, they were not friends. After 7 years of legal proceedings, the judge at the Court of Final Appeal returned to the basics and analysed the intention behind the provisions in question.

    Provisions in law are formed by words, the presence of which inevitably gives rise to ambiguity. When we encounter ambiguity and choose to take the matter to court, effort and time have to be put in, so as to eliminate ambiguity. Meanwhile, however, the truth will be clearer upon presentation of arguments.


    集数

    EPISODES
    • Beyond the Courtroom

      Beyond the Courtroom

      The existence of a civil justice system enables individuals and corporations to effectively enforce their legal rights. If the system becomes inaccessible to segments of society, whether because of expense, incomprehensibility or otherwise, will people be deprived of justice?

      After the founder had passed away, Wo Him Tong was inherited by a pair of brothers. However, the brothers held vastly different views on how the shop should be operated. Since the brothers failed to reach consensus, Leung-him paid his brother a sum of money for him to start a new business and keep aloof from the operation of Wo Him Tong. Several years have passed and Wo Him Tong has been closed. Leung-wo files a lawsuit in court claiming half of the proceeds from selling the property;

      Mrs CHENG’s baby suffered from cerebral palsy and had inflexible limbs due to obstructed labour when she gave birth by natural childbirth. Feeling deeply aggrieved, Mrs CHENG decides to take legal actions and claim compensation from Doctor MAK. The two parties find Doctor SUNG to be their mediator, who will try to help them reach a settlement agreement through the eyes of a third party.

      19/09/2019
    • More than Words

      More than Words

      Every word in provisions of law is laid down on paper and made open to the public so that everything is crystal clear, thus safeguarding the rights of members of the public and ensuring that they will not break the law because of incomprehensibility.

      However, provisions are words in essence. With changes in society and differences across cultures, the same words can be interpreted in different ways.

      Having been under British rule in the colonial era and returned to China’s sovereignty, all provisions of law in Hong Kong, a small port, had to be made bilingual from the original English version. Imagine how you would express in Chinese the meaning of “addition”, which concerns the extra vending space of hawkers. Moreover, what is the official Chinese term for “easement”, which underlines the right that allows you to pass by your neighbour’s property every day?

      This kind of conflict is not unique in bilingual provisions. Ambiguity is in fact rampant even in the Chinese provisions alone. In a real case, for example, a family engaged representative visiting service for their imprisoned family member. Yet, the Government believed that the law merely provided for visits by relatives and friends of a prisoner. If a person was not a personal acquaintance known to the prisoner, they were not friends. After 7 years of legal proceedings, the judge at the Court of Final Appeal returned to the basics and analysed the intention behind the provisions in question.

      Provisions in law are formed by words, the presence of which inevitably gives rise to ambiguity. When we encounter ambiguity and choose to take the matter to court, effort and time have to be put in, so as to eliminate ambiguity. Meanwhile, however, the truth will be clearer upon presentation of arguments.

      12/09/2019
    • Unfinished Lesson

      Unfinished Lesson

      Hong Kong and Mainland China adopt different legal systems. The former has retained the common law system, which was used by Britain, while the latter adopts the civil law system. The two places’ understanding about the rule of law also varies. Since China’s reform and opening-up in 1980s, legal exchange and interaction between Hong Kong and Mainland China have gradually become frequent. The two legal systems have gone through the break-in period and fostered the commercial and economic development of the two places. The success rests mainly with the legal practitioners’ unremitting efforts to build the legal infrastructure. Professor Betty HO from the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong was the pioneer of legal exchange between Hong Kong and the Mainland.

      Professor Betty HO was born and raised in Hong Kong, and was familiar with commercial laws. During 1980s, she practised in a local law firm and was one of the few Hong Kong lawyers who took part in Mainland affairs back in those days. In 1992, Professor HO was invited to participate in devising the legal framework for the China’s state-owned enterprises to list in Hong Kong. During the working meetings between Hong Kong and Mainland China, Professor HO occasionally engaged in heated debates with the representatives of the Mainland, as she insisted in safeguarding the rights and benefits of the Hong Kong shareholders when state-owned enterprises came to list in the Hong Kong stock market. Professor HO was even more passionate about her legal education work. When she was teaching commercial laws at the University of Hong Kong, she was loved and respected by numerous students because of her conscientious teaching attitude. In 2002, Professor HO was hired by the Tsinghua University School of Law in Beijing. She resolutely left her job in Hong Kong and moved to Beijing alone to pursue her teaching career. Bringing the academic programme designed by her to Tsinghua University, Professor HO introduced the teaching of the common law system which was unprecedented in the Mainland at that time. She believed that legal education was one of the ways to foster a country’s development and improvement. In 2010, Professor HO, who had never been late, was absent at her last lesson. Her students went to her residence with doubt, and were surprised to find that Professor HO, who was always energetic, had passed out at home and become unconscious …

      In the course of legal exchange between Hong Kong and Mainland China, Professor HO’s generation was the builder and initiator of the legal systems. These days, China’s economy and global vision have greatly surpassed those in the early years of its reform and opening-up. Does Hong Kong still have certain roles under China’s well-established legal system based upon the rule of law?

      05/09/2019