ALBERT CHENG AND LAM YUK WAH V. TSE WAI CHUN PAUL  HKCFA 35
Names/Parties: ALBERT CHENG AND LAM YUK WAH V. TSE WAI CHUN PAUL
Court: Hong Kong Court of Final appeal
The plaintiff Tse Wai Chun Paul brought against the defendants an action for defamation. The alleged defamatory comments were made during a morning program on a radio station operated by the defendant Hong Kong Commercial Broadcasting Co Ltd, with defendants Albert Cheng and Lam Yuk Wah participating.
In the court of first instance the jury held in favour only of the defendant broadcasting company and the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of the other two individual defendants.
This case is about the scope of the defence of fair comment on matters of public interest. Freedom of expression is guaranteed by Article 27 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong (Constitution). The Court of Final Appeal recognises that the purpose of the defence of fair comment is to protect and promote freedom of expression. As such, it should not be restricted just because the comments were made with ulterior motives or with a specific purpose in mind, as long as the objective criteria for raising the defence are satisfied and the defendant can prove that he had an honest and genuine belief in the truth of the view expressed.
The Court of Final Appeal quashes the jury's verdicts against Albert Cheng and Lam Yuk Wah, sets aside the orders of the Court of Appeal against them and orders a new trial.
Authoring Organisation: IBAHRI