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Colonial Cases

Mixed Court Hong Kong

Sunday Times (Sydney), 27 October 1907    HONG KONG

DRASTIC MEASURE FOR OPIUM SMOKERS.

  The evidence given in a case which came before the Mixed Court at Hong Kong proved that individual Chinese are sometimes prepared to take drastic, if somewhat weird, measures to prevent opium smoking by members of their family.  The principal, Sung Su-nung (for he was scarcely an accused) was found shackled by wooden blocks which were screwed to his legs.  Inquiries were made, and it appeared that Sung was an opium smoker, and his father adopted that novel method of preventing him going to an opium shop.  Sung, when questioned by the Court, said that his brother had shackled him, not his father, and the latter had not ordered his brother to do so.  The Assessor said that, according to Chinese law, the father would have been quite justified had he shackled the young man, but the brother was not. A warrant was, therefore, issued for the arrest of the brother, and Sung joyfully obtained his liberty with free legs.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School