Killing with No Punishment: Police Violence and Judicial (In)justice

Author: Angus Siu-cheong Li, Hong Kong Baptist University
Published: January 22, 2021

Citation: Li, S. C. (2021). Killing with No Punishment: Police Violence and Judicial (In)justice. IAFOR Journal of Cultural Studies, 6(SI).


This article offers a critical reading of the Limbu Case that took place in 2009 in Hong Kong. The Limbu Case was about an ethnic Nepalese named Dil Bahadur Limbu who was shot dead by a police constable on a hillside, which resulted in controversies around issues such as excessive police use of force and discretionary policing in Hong Kong. In the coroner’s inquest (court case no.: CCDI298/2009) regarding Limbu’s death, a verdict of lawful killing was reached by a jury of five. In other words, the killing was defined as a permissible killing. Drawing attention to the process of questioning “reasonableness” of the killing, I attempt to shed light on the ambiguities of the coronial system in Hong Kong which results in a missed opportunity to prevent future deaths. In other words, this article uncovers how the state is unable to live up to its promise to protect people's right to life.


Coroner’s court, lawful killing; police use of force, policing, right to life