DoJ slams ‘persistent harassment’ against judge

The Department of Justice on Thursday warned against what it calls “persistent harassment” against a judge, saying those who break the law by harassing or even threatening judges must bear severe legal consequences.

The comes after District Court judge Stanley Chan said he had received harassing phone calls recently and urged the Bar Association as well as the Law Society to openly and strongly condemn the illegal acts.

Chan made the remarks while he was presiding over a hearing involving three defendants charged with rioting over a protest in Admiralty in September 2019.

Citing the Basic Law, the Department of Justice said in a statement that Hong Kong courts shall exercise judicial power independently, free from any interference.

It stressed the government would spare no effort in bringing the culprit to justice if there was any attempt to exert influence over court proceedings through “despicable means”.

“Any acts of harassment, personal attacks, insults and even threats against judges would severely undermine the authority of the courts and damage public confidence in the judicial system,” the statement read.

“It is disgraceful to disrupt social order maliciously with an attempt to interfere with court proceedings. Offenders not only act in blatant defiance of the law and undermine the rule of law, but also break the law and must bear severe legal consequences.”