Copying pic

Copycat caught out

A Hong Kong judge has been lambasted for copying virtually all of his judgment from the claimant's submissions, resulting in a retrial of the case.

Judge Wilson Chan's ruling in a trademark dispute found in favour of the claimant, a medicinal ointment company, against seven defendants.

However, it seemed that the judge approved of the claimants submissions so much that he copied “over 98%" of the document for his judgment. "Among the remaining 2%, there is not one full sentence written by the trial judge in his own words” said the defendants. 

In appealing the decision, the defendants argued that the main differences between the claimants' submissions and Chan's judgment were "cosmetic changes" such as replacing abbreviations (e.g. “Ds” with “the defendants”) and also a “wrap up” section at the end which contained orders and directions only.

Judge Chan had failed to make an independent judgment and did not provide sufficient reasons for finding in favour of the claimant, said the defendants. And his actions demonstrated a lack of "independent thinking."

The Court of Appeal agreed, commenting that it was important that judges should make independent judgments and not copy a party's submissions to an excessive degree. The appellate judges also noted that Chan's ruling had failed to mention the defendants' written submissions. 

The Court of Appeal has ordered a retrial under a new judge. The Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal, Andrew Cheung, completed the bollocking as he reprimanded Chan.

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City 16 June 23 09:03

Hong Kong is becoming more and more of a joke jurisdiction. And this is hardly helped by the increasing presence there of offshore lawyers, who serve only to lower standards. 

do what? 16 June 23 09:54

Offshore lawyers are defo to blame for Wilson Chan Ka-shun's laziness and incompetence.

Send the offshore buggers back.

Magic Rectangular White Footwear 16 June 23 09:55

Hard agree with City. 

Was always a bit of a budget version of London and New York, but with the advantage of a Pacific timezone.

The increasing number of offshore lawyers there is a sure sign of its decline.

Scep Tick 16 June 23 10:18

Bit of a shame for claimant brief. He must have been delighted to have got the law and facts so accurately. 

Anonymous 16 June 23 14:08

@10.18 - a judge once copied my submissions in a judgment. I pretty much jerked myself off for the rest of the day. 

That was my highest legal achievement. I proceeded to lose my next 3 trials in a row.

Useful person 16 June 23 16:51

High Court judge Wilson Chan Is Disgusting.  Brainless plagiarism is a sign of mental illness, or incurable laziness.

Anonymous 16 June 23 22:16

Before 1997, China was one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and Hong Kong was one of the least corrupt. I am not sure how offshore lawyers came into this. 

Later, things took a turn for the worse, and a brief search will demonstrate that this judge "is one of the city’s handpicked national security judges. He is currently handling the government’s application for an injunction to ban the distribution of pro-democracy protest song Glory to Hong Kong with criminal intent." (text lifted from Clearly, this judge is Beijing's man and thus reflects on Beijing, not on Hong Kong.

Still, I don't see how offshore lawyers come into this. 

Anon 17 June 23 10:42

Anonymous 16 June 23 22:16: offshore lawyers come into this because offshore jurisdictions are  dodgy and offshore lawyers are third rate and lower standards. The presence of offshore lawyers in a jurisdiction is a sure indication of decline. 

Sheriff 17 June 23 18:09

London is a joke jurisdiction with all never-ending alphabet diversity virtue-signalling parades.

New York is a cesspit of crime and Democrat Party dysfunction.

How is the Cayman Islands or Hong Kong any worse than the above?

Anonymous 18 June 23 17:45

@Anon 17 June 23 10:42

Considering Hong Kong started out as a Crown colony, the decline you speak of must have started early. Many were Scots, perhaps also considered a flaw.

So I checked the Corruption Perceptions Index ( I suggest you compare this index with that for the United Kingdom.

I am still puzzled how a third rate lawyer can make any upstanding judge do what we saw here. Thankfully I am sure you will explain this to us all in great detail, no doubt based on yor own practical experiences.

anon 19 June 23 08:22

Sheriff 17 June 23 18:09: the best lawyers in the world are to be found in London and NYC. Cayman and Hong Kong are where you go when you have failed.

Sheriff 19 June 23 13:09

Yet the top partners and KCs in London are falling over themselves to get instructions from Hong Kong and Cayman, where the local lawyers are remunerated at substantially higher levels than their London counterparts.

Those who denigrate overseas practice - Cayman, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc, are just jealous of the higher rewards and lower taxes on offer that they're too lazy to get off their backsides to enjoy.

Anon 20 June 23 12:34

Sheriff 19 June 23 13:09: there is a world of difference, as you well know, between being instructed by lawyers in places like Cayman and Hong Kong and working there full time. Those who work full time in places like Cayman and Hong Kong do so because they have failed onshore. Offshore is for people whose careers haven’t worked out.

Judge Wilson Chan Disgusting 20 June 23 18:32

Judge Wilson Chan the Lazy Arse brought the whole of the Hong Kong Judiciary into disrepute and should just resign for the greater good.

Concerned Citizen 22 June 23 14:34

How did Wilson Chan become a Judge in the first place? Surely he should never have been appointed?  Wrong appointment.  Disgraceful.

Judicial Appointment Needs Reform 23 June 23 06:49

A person as lazy and as brainless as Hong Kong High Court Judge Wilson Chan should never have been allowed to occupy any judicial office anywhere.  Sack him sack him sack him!

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