ATTORNEY GENERAL v. ORIENTAL DAILY NEWS LTD AND OTHERS

HCMP002136/1983

M.P. No. 2136 of 1983

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

IN THE MATTER of an application by the Attorney General of Hong Kong for leave to apply for an Order of Committal for Contempt ofCourt

and

IN THE MATTER of a photograph and article published in the Oriental Daily News on the 13th August 1983

________

BETWEEN

The Attorney General Applicant
and
Oriental Daily News Limited 1st Respondent
CHOW Shek 2nd Respondent
MA Ching-kwan 3rd Respondent

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Coram: Hon. Liu, Mayo and Mantell JJ. in Pull Bench

Date: 28th October, 1983.

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JUDGMENT

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1. In this application, the Attorney General seeks an order for committal for contempt of court under R.S.C. Order 52 arising out ofthe publication on 5th August 1983 in the 1st respondent’s newspaper of a photograph and article which bear upon pending criminalproceedings.

2. We accept that the approach to such matters is that put forward by the Attorney General and in particular that in the circumstancesof this case a monetary penalty is sufficient.

3. The measures which it is reasonable for any particular newspaper to take to guard against the publication of offending material willdepend upon a number of circumstances including its size and circulation. In this case, it seems to us that the steps taken up tothe date of the publication of the photograph and article were inadequate and have remained so since. The 1st respondent will befined $50,000, the 2nd respondent will be fined $25,000. We accept the explanation and apology of the 3rd respondent and in his case,impose no penalty. The costs of this application and the application for leave will be paid by the 1st respondent.

______________________ ________________________ _______________________

(B. Liu)

(Simon Mayo) (C.B.K. Mantell)
Judge of the High Court Judge of the High Court Judge of the High Court

Representation:

Mr. M.D. Thomas, Q.C. Hon Attorney General with Mr. Peter Graham and Ms L.W. Yuen, for the Applicant.

Mr. Francis Eddis instructed by Messrs. H.M. So & Co. for the Respondents.