When a law student, you get to read lots of US Supreme Court (a/k/a “SCOTUS” – though I’ve always despised that acronym) cases, and you begin to pick your favorites — of course I always loved the ladies (Sandra and Ruth), definitely enjoyed many a Breyer opinion, as well as the hallowed Rehnquist. So when I came to Hong Kong, I wanted a new favorite. It took me some time to familiarize with cases, and I have to admit I am still far from knowing the “classics” in terms of opinions here, but I did finally find my favorite — the Honorable Mr. Justice Kemal Bokhary!
He is both brilliant and witty, and a true defender of human rights. He is what we need in Hong Kong as we fight the Red Tide that is no doubt coming, but also all the while seeping in bit by bit every day since the handover.
But alas,justas I got to know and love Justice Bokhary, I learn that he has reached the statutory retirement age, and despite there being discretion to permit those reaching such age to continue employment, he is forcibly being retired, only to make way for the elevation of who many legal community members would wholeheartedly agree is the entire opposite of everything Justice Bohkary stands for.
This is unfortunately, one of those ways that Red Tide seeps in. But this was not going to be surprising, considering that Justice Bohkary stood up to Beijing when it usurped the Court of Final Appeal’s decision in a right to abode case. Of course, he lost that one. So for those who ask what one country, two systems means — well, it’s not quite what it’s advertised to be!
And trust me, no one is glad to see him go. And what’s worse, the other two permanent CFA judges will similarly reach the age of 65 in the next two years, so those of you who can do the “math,” can you tell me what to expect?
I’m definitely bummed out, especially considering that one of my cases will be heard before the CFA come next Spring. But alas, I won’t see my favorite in action.
For more interesting reading, check this article out.