The president of the Law Society of Hong Kong says that a committee will handle a complaint which has been made against pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho.

The complaint related to Ho’s claims in his professional biographies that he was a “practising” solicitor in Singapore, England and Wales. However, Ho did not hold practising certificates in the jurisdictions mentioned. He went on to claim they were typos before fixing them.

Law Society President Thomas So said that, according to the Society’s existing procedures, there will be a committee to look into the complaint. Then, the person targeted in the complaint may be asked to respond.

Thomas So
Thomas So. Photo: RTHK Screenshot.

He said there will be “specific persons” looking into complaints. But he said, normally, results of the enquiry will not be announced publicly, and only the complainant and the person being complained against will know the result.

“In order to respect all sides, [the result] will be confidential to the public,” So said.

‘Killing’ remarks

At an anti-independence rally on September 17, rural leader Tsang Shu-wo said onstage that pro-independence activists should be “killed.” Ho shouted “without mercy” into his microphone, though later said that he uttered “a wrong choice of words” in the heat of the moment.

So said the police were looking into the incident, and the Law Society would follow up, depending on the result, to see whether there was a an instance of misconduct.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority in the UK also replied to a complainant over Junius Ho’s speeches. It came after a previous error was made by the Authority, suggesting Ho was not admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales. It was confirmed he was indeed admitted, though had never held a practising certificate in England and Wales.

The response, obtained by HKFP, said: “As Mr Ho is an admitted solicitor we are able to consider the report you made about his conduct. As previously advised, we will write to you again by 16 October 2017.”

Solicitors Regulation Authority
A reply from the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Photo: HKFP.

The latest Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum put Hong Kong in sixth place, rising from the ninth last year. But the city’s ranking for judicial independence dropped five places to 13th place.

Thomas So said the city’s position had often risen or fallen, but Hong Kong had consistently been in the top rankings.

“But I can tell you it’s a very important topic. The rule of law and judicial independence are the foundations of Hong Kong,” he said. “Although there was a slight drop, we don’t think there is any incident showing serious damage [to judicial independence]. We have high confidence in judges handling cases fairly.”

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.