Asia Pacific Media Educator


This paper examines the two most controversial decisions on freedom of expression made by the Court of Final Appeal, the highest court in Hong Kong in the post-handover period. The first was a defamation case - Cheng Albert and Another v Tse Wai Chun Paul. The second - HKSAR v Ng Kung Siu and Another - was the criminal sanction of flag desecration. The outcomes of these two landmark cases were completely different. One has promoted freedom of expression, while the other has restricted it. Both cases have considerable potential to impact on how much and what kind of freedom of expression Hong Kong people may enjoy post- 1997 under the promise of ‘one country, two systems’. The decisions also shed light on a very important question – how well can the Court of Final Appeal protect and promote freedom of expression in Hong Kong?