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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

The Endorsement

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. SLEEPING ROOM - EARLY MORNING


  4. It's 06:10. PETER wakes up.


  5. PETER: (V.O.): Good. The challenge before a day's hearing has been whether I could sleep the night before.


  6. INT. STUDY - MORNING


  7. Having checked something on his phone, Peter prints them until the printing machine is jammed.


  8. PETER (V.O.): No preparation is ever enough.


  9. EXT. MTR STATION EXIT - LATER


  10. It's 08:30. A female STAFF (30) greets Peter.


  11. PETER: Oh, you're so early.


  12. STAFF: Yes, I don't want to be late.


  13. PETER (V.O.): Me too. I've never been to the Torture Claims Appeal Board.


  14. Art 2


  15. INT. APPEAL BOARD PREMISES - DAY


  16. Interview room. Peter explains something to a CLIENT via INTERPRETER#1.


  17. PETER:...Ready?


  18. The client nods.


  19. Beat.


  20. Peter, client, and INTERPRETER#2 enter a hearing room.


  21. PETER (V.O.): At last, I'm here.


  22. Peter looks around as the staff directs him and the client to take their seats between Interpreter#2.


  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It looks like a moot court room. But it's real. It exercises statutory appeal function.


  24. Recalling.


  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When I've had to make available the Copyright Tribunal in the Intellectual Property Department from 1997, I just pooled the resources to have a make-shift one.


  26. Recalling.


  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But the Tribunal doesn't have run-of-the-mill business.


  28. Recalling.


  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): On trademark matters, there're regular businesses. But our so-called Hearing Room is no different from an ordinary conference room.


  30. Pausing.


  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Here's different. They've got three hearing rooms. And there're three seats on the bench.


  32. Pausing.


  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As appeal hearings here are conducted in private and in confidence, the public can't attend.


  34. Pausing.


  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Despite the work and pressure, I'm so lucky to have the opportunity to do my first appeal here.


  36. Peter puts his papers on the bar table.


  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): See how it goes.


  38. Beat.


  39. The appeal hearing is over.


  40. PETER (V.O.): I've done the best I can to advance my client's case.


  41. PETER (to staff): What's the time now?


  42. STAFF: I:00 pm.


  43. PETER: A full half-day hearing. Was it long or short by the standard here?


  44. STAFF: A relatively short one.


  45. PETER (V.O.): A good on-the-job learning experience for me though.


  46. Thinking.


  47. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): While the adjudicator would have to write his decision, my client would have to wait for the outcome.


  48. Recalling.


  49. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When I was learning International Human Rights law, I recall a professor emphasizing the right to seek asylum doesn't mean that asylum would be granted as of right.


  50. Act 3.


  51. INT. CORRIDOR - AFTERNOON


  52. Toilet keys in hand, Interpreter#2 rushes in the direction of the toilet. He suddenly stops before client and staff, pointing a finger at Peter.


  53. INTERPRETER#2: I've never seen a counsel as keen and anxious as him to advance his client's interest!


  54. Peter smiles.


  55. PETER (V.O.): What an endorsement!


  56. They part.


  57. INT. STUDY - LATER


  58. Peter takes out the jammed papers from the printing machine.


  59. PETER (V.O.): My job is largely done. I've contributed to maintain the high standards of fairness in Hong Kong, China.


  60. Pausing.


  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Having ensured substantive and procedural justice, the outcome of the case will depend on its own merits.


  62. Pausing.


  63. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The third-party endorsement has given me more than what I did. It made my day.


  64. INT. SLEEPING ROOM - NIGHT


  65. Peter is listening to the radio programme All the Way With Ray.


  66. PETER (V.O.): I'm sure I'll sleep well tonight.


  67. FADE OUT.


  68. THE END


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