The judicial review for RTHK programme Headliner (頭條新聞)
Ho Tse Wai & Partners acted for the applicants in the judicial review regarding an episode of the RTHK programme Headliner (頭條新聞)(HCAL 1685/2020). The episode aired on 14 February 2020 consisted of sketches referring to current affairs, including suspected abuse of power by the police.
The Commissioner of Police made a complaint to the Director of Broadcasting about the episode, and apparently the Communications Authority (“CA”) also received a large number of complaints about the episode. After receiving representations from RTHK, the CA found inter alia that Headliner was a personal view programme (“PVP”), content in the episode was not factually accurate, the episode was insulting to the police, and that it had not included a broad range of views. The sanction issued by the CA was a warning to RTHK.
The applicants, the RTHK Programme Staff Union and the Hong Kong Journalists Association, brought the present judicial review to challenge the CA’s decision. By Judgment dated 25 November 2021, Hon Chow JA found that the CA had erred in finding that RTHK had not expressed a broad range of views and that RTHK had not made reasaonable effort to ensure that factual contents were not accurate. However, the other grounds of judicial review were dismissed. Hence, the applicants were partially successful.
Judgment of the case can be found HERE.
Our Ms. Angeline Chan, Ms. Kristine Chan and Ms. Jessie Ng handled the case.