News Publication Date: 11 February 2016
Earlier this month Deemster Doyle travelled to Hong Kong for 4 days as a guest of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and participated in a dialogue between Antonin Scalia (a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America) and Kemal Bokhary (a Justice of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal) on Judges and Democracy.
His Honour also took the opportunity to meet up with Geoffrey Ma (the Chief Justice of Hong Kong) and attended a dinner at the Chief Justice’s Residence on the Peak on the Saturday evening to meet with Justice Scalia, Professor Garner (who acted as the moderator of the dialogue) and Justices of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (including Robert Ribeiro and Joseph Fok). On the Monday morning Deemster Doyle attended a hearing at the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal and discussed matters of mutual interest with the Justices. Deemster Doyle was shown around the impressive new home of the Court of Final Appeal in the heart of the central district.
On the Tuesday, before flying back to the Island that evening, the First Deemster spent the day with Kemal Bokhary and his wife Verina who is also a judge in Hong Kong. Justice Bokhary is a friend of the Isle of Man and in one of his recent publications made reference to the Deemster’s oath and the need to administer justice as impartially 'as the herring backbone doth lie in the midst of the fish.'
Deemster Doyle commented:
'I am grateful to Professor Christopher Gane, the Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Justice Bokhary for inviting me out to Hong Kong to participate in the dialogue between Justices Scalia and Bokhary. It was also of great benefit to meet up with a Justice of the United States Supreme Court and the Justices of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal and in a small way raise the profile of the Island internationally. There are many connections between the Island, Hong Kong and America and it is important that their judges, including those at the highest level, are aware of the Island’s legal system and its independent judiciary. We should all appreciate that we are a part of a global community. Whether a compact island such as the Isle of Man, or a superpower such as the United States of America, we are all part of a (to use Justice Kennedy’s words) “wider civilisation”. We all have something to learn from each other. Greater international co-operation and communication will generate greater knowledge and understanding. In turn this will give us all greater security, wisdom and an extended reach that comes from dialogue.'