Haldanes Explains Why One Should Never Talk to the Police

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Haldanes briefly discusses why it is unwise to talk to the police, regardless of the situation. The firm also talks about the value of consulting a lawyer ASAP, after an arrest and relating this to what happened during the Occupy Central in HK last year.

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All you’re going to do is provide evidence—in trying to say something constructive, nine times out of 10 you unwittingly worsen your position

Risk of Incriminating Oneself
Impressed by the interview, Haldanes thought it wise to remind everyone that they have a right to silence. In an article published by Hong Kong Magazine on Feb 23, 2012, the firm’s senior partner Jonathan Midgley shared his thoughts and said that there are two rules to follow in case of an arrest: “The first one is to stay silent. The other is to stay polite.”

The article develops the idea that many people believe that to defend themselves by speaking to the police will “do magic” and clear their name, often because they feel that they are “not to blame” and wish the police to understand their innocence.

“All you’re going to do is provide evidence—in trying to say something constructive, nine times out of 10 you unwittingly worsen your position,” Midgley explained. He added nevertheless being polite may help.

Importance of Immediate Legal Counsel
Apart from asking for a copy of a suspect’s rights in the case of an arrest, Haldanes emphasizes that consulting immediately with a lawyer and not talking to the police is of paramount importance in protecting the arrested person’s rights and interests.

The firm speaks about how the Courts handled the legal issues arising during “Occupy Central” and how the “rule of law” works to protect the individual.

As per Reuters news on 1st Oct 2014 after a week-long student boycott of classes hundreds of secondary school students were demonstrating outside the Hong Kong government’s harbor-front offices. It was 10 p.m. and some of the students were beginning to drift off when Joshua Wong picked up the microphone to and pleaded students not to leave. Police charged in and in conflict that arose between the authorities in Hong Kong and the street protesters led some students & their leaders being arrested which raised the issue for each person arrested of whether to make a statement to the police or not. The larger issue arose and in the case of Joshua Wong, the arrested student leader, the issue of his arrest was taken to the High Court of a Writ of Habeas Corpus and led to the High Court ordering his immediate release.

In a talk with Bloomberg, on October 1, 2014, Mr Midgley told Angie Lau that “whatever the police decides, or the government decides, the Judiciary is be separate and will determine the rights and the wrongs.”

Amid the unrest last year, Mr Midgley was happy to confirm that there is “still law in Hong Kong, and it is good and it is working!”.

About Haldanes
Haldanes caters to the varying legal needs of clients throughout Asia. The firm’s partners have a wealth of experience and an extensive knowledge of the legal practice in the region, especially in Hong Kong.

For more information about the firm’s practice areas and the profile of their lawyers, visit their site.

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Jonathan Midgley
Haldanes
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