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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

The Fine Judge

Whenever I undergo security checks in the High Court, I would recall the times from 1988-1991, when I took the Judges' lift and went directly to the chambers of the Hon Mr Justice Nazareth (as he then was). I was with the Law Reform Commission's legal secretariat and he was the Chairman of the Commission's Copyright Sub-committee. I briefed the Judge before the Sub-committee's meetings.

Having had 51 formal evening meetings to transact the copyright law reform business, the Sub-committee's work was largely done in late 1991, when I joined the Intellectual Property Department. After my completion of drafting the Sub-committee's Report months later, my wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away on August 19, 1992. The Judge's sympathetic note to me was comforting.

On June 28, 2018, I was participating in a commemorative conference on the 60th Anniversary of the New York Convention in Shenzhen. I was surprised to hear the host citing "the Hon Mr Justice Nazareth" regarding a Hong Kong case, recognizing an arbitration award made by the predecessor of the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration. The impact of the Judge's ruling is still felt.

Today, just when I was about to finish reading a newspaper did I notice the Judge's obituary. He was 86 and passed away peacefully on August 13, 2018. In remembering the fine judge, I had the urge to read the Sub-committee Report and his judgments (as a High Court Judge 1985-1991, Justice of Appeal 1991-2000 and Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal 1997-2012) and to feel his legacy!

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