The Hong Kong Transport Division refined the appliance course of for issuing Certificates of Particulars of Automobile to journalists on Monday. The brand new course of requires journalists to use below “distinctive circumstances” by means of a written submission to the Commissioner for Transport when the obtainment of certificates entails important public curiosity.
Native media Now Information reported their failed try on Tuesday. The group claimed that they tried to use on the primary day of the implementation of the refined association. Nonetheless, the Commissioner for Transport had not replied to their request at some point after the appliance. The report additionally revealed that the appliance course of requires a declaration that applicant journalists will cooperate with the Transport Division and different legislation enforcement businesses to confirm the truthfulness of the knowledge supplied therein. The required written submission should additionally listing the aim for acquiring the certificates, how the journalists are going to make use of the knowledge and any mechanisms to stop the misuse or abuse of the knowledge.
Legislator Doreen Kong contended that information is “perishable” and that the appliance course of might have an effect on articles’ timeliness. Johannes Chan, a professor from HKU College of Legislation, additionally suggested that requiring journalists to use below “distinctive circumstances” and the dearth of an enchantment mechanism might topic the refined association to judicial evaluation because it doesn’t deem public curiosity an inexpensive floor of utility for issuance. Chan argued that this violates the intention of the Highway Site visitors Ordinance, which is to provide exemption to journalists and settle for public curiosity as a floor to entry the Automobile Registry.
Beforehand, the Division of Justice sought to prosecute a journalist for knowingly making a false assertion as a result of the journalist utilized for a Certificates allegedly “for site visitors and transport-related issues” whereas she was truly conducting a journalistic investigation. The Courtroom of Closing Enchantment quashed her conviction in June 2023, ruling that freedom of the press is a vital worth to uphold and a extra liberal method must be adopted.