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Deputy Secretary for Justice Cheung Kwok-kwan today stressed that it is necessary to continue to promote the interface of the rules and mechanisms of the three places in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) to achieve "soft connectivity", given the GBA's importance to the overall modernisation of the country. Mr Cheung gave the remarks at a forum themed "Gateway to the Opportunities in the GBA", which is one of the highlights of Hong Kong Legal Week 2023. He hoped that all parties could work together in turning the differences among systems into benefits, thereby facilitating the exchanges and interactions between people and businesses. Mr Cheung noted that the Department of Justice (DoJ) is actively implementing various measures to facilitate the public and businesses to resolve cross-boundary disputes, such as enhancing the mechanism for mutual legal assistance in civil and commercial matters between Hong Kong and the Mainland, promoting the extension of the measures of allowing Hong Kong-invested enterprises to adopt Hong Kong law and allowing Hong Kong-invested enterprises to choose for arbitration to be seated in Hong Kong, and taking forward the setting up of a standard online mediation platform for the GBA to support the synergistic development of the legal sector of the three places. He also highlighted that legal practitioners from Hong Kong and Macau are important contributors to enhancing the rule of law in the GBA, adding that he hoped the forum could provide more innovative ideas to facilitate the concerted efforts of all parties in making quality legal services a brand name for the GBA. Co-organised by the DoJ, Guangdong Province’s Department of Justice and Macau's Office of the Secretary for Administration & Justice, the forum has attracted over 1,000 registrations from Hong Kong, the Mainland and overseas for participation in a hybrid mode. There were about 200 representatives from the legal sectors of the Mainland and Macau coming to Hong Kong to attend in person, to discuss the promotion of "soft connectivity" in the legal and dispute resolution practices of the three places. Bureau of Lawyers' Work of the Ministry of Justice Director Tian Xin delivered a keynote speech introducing the extension of the pilot scheme for Hong Kong and Macau legal practitioners to practise in the GBA, recently authorised by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the current situation and the next step in taking forward the relevant work. At the forum, legal practitioners and scholars from the three places explored various issues from different perspectives, such as strengthening legal co-operation and the interface of legal systems, better nurturing legal talent, and enhancing the depth and breadth of participation by Hong Kong and Macau legal sectors in Mainland legal proceedings, so as to join hands in promoting the rule of law development in the GBA and its high-level opening up. An unprecedented feature of the forum was a GBA mock court session on a case involving a cross-boundary trading of goods and loan agreement, to illustrate the similarities and differences in substantive laws and procedures relevant to the handling of cross-boundary commercial disputes among the three places and explore ways to strengthen collaboration of GBA legal professionals in order to build a rule-based business environment together. Also for the first time, exhibition booths dedicated to promoting legal services were set up, where representatives from Hong Kong, Macau and the nine Mainland cities in the GBA introduced to forum participants the new developments and opportunities of the GBA's legal services and answered enquiries in person. The DoJ and the Law Society of Hong Kong also co-organised a GBA Young Lawyers Forum under the theme of "Building a Future Together under GBA Opportunities". Representatives from the legal, political and business sectors discussed the roles of legal professionals in the rule of law development in the GBA. Young legal practitioners from the three places then shared their experience of practising in the GBA through an interactive session in understanding the three jurisdictions, and explored how young lawyers could contribute to the country's high-quality development with their expertise.
The Correctional Services Department (CSD) has proposed an in-situ redevelopment of the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre's (LCKRC) Annex to solve the problem of aging facilities and overcrowding of the custodial environment, the Security Bureau said today. In a statement responding to media enquiries on the redevelopment proposal, the bureau stressed that the project adopts the design principles of "fitness for purpose and no frills", in which the concepts of standardisation and simplification have been applied as far as possible in the design and construction arrangements. The bureau pointed out that that the CSD is committed to providing a secure, safe, humane, decent and healthy custodial environment for persons in custody (PICs), adding that the LCKRC’s aging facilities and insufficient support infrastructure not only affects the custodial environment but also the PICs’ rehabilitation. It said the various facilities proposed in the redevelopment project are based on the centre’s situation and actual operational needs. The bureau also noted that the medical facilities in the correctional institutions ensure the PICs who are unwell can receive timely treatment and significantly reduce the security risks posed to the community during the transfer of PICs to and from public hospitals or clinics. It explained that dental treatment within the institution is different from that provided in the community's public dental clinics. The treatment in the institution is provided by dentists from the Department of Health who visit periodically for consultations. PICs are processed and scheduled for treatment on a prioritised basis as with the general public. The proposed dental treatment room in the redevelopment project is intended to replace the existing one, and PICs from other institutions can also be arranged to receive dental treatment in the LCKRC, the bureau added. Regarding the provision of religious services in correctional institutions, the bureau explained that the arrangement aims to support PICs from the moral and spiritual perspectives. The proposed multipurpose religious service room is designed to enable members from various religious organisations to provide services to PICs with a view to supporting their rehabilitation. As for the construction cost of the redevelopment project, the bureau revealed that it is approximately comparable to that of the redevelopment of the Tai Lam Centre for Women in 2011, when excluding the unique factors of the two projects and adjusting for price index changes. The unit price calculated based on the gross floor area is roughly the same for both projects. The bureau emphasised that the redevelopment project will facilitate the modernisation of correctional facilities, thereby enhancing the management efficiency and security level as well as the effectiveness of rehabilitation programmes implemented, which enables detainees to better integrate into society after leaving the institution. It added that the improvement in the correctional officers’ working environment can also enhance their daily operational efficiency.
Secretary for Justice Paul Lam said today the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, as an integral part of China, shares China's resolute commitment to upholding the rule of law on a global scale and safeguarding the development interests through legal means. He gave the remarks at the conclusion of the Legal Forum on Interconnectivity & Development, which is part of Hong Kong Legal Week 2023. Mr Lam noted that under the principle of "one country, two systems", Hong Kong plays a unique role in the high-quality development of Belt & Road co-operation. “Being the only common law jurisdiction in China, our judicial system is open, independent and enjoys a renowned international reputation. Our court judgments have garnered recognition in other common law jurisdictions, underscoring our legal influence. “Leveraging these inherent advantages, Hong Kong serves as a ‘superconnector’ between the Mainland and rest of the world, providing an ideal business environment governed by the rule of law.” He also highlighted that the Department of Justice (DoJ) remains committed to developing Hong Kong as a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region in order to support the Belt & Road Initiative and to contribute to higher-quality and higher-level development of Belt & Road co-operation. Co-organised by the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong SAR and the DoJ, the forum attracted more than 700 judges, academics, government officials, and other legal professionals from over 50 jurisdictions, including countries situated along the Belt & Road route such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Cambodia. During the forum, Huang Huikang, a member of the United Nations International Law Commission, delivered a keynote address on the milestone of China's legislation on foreign relations. Other topics discussed included the joint construction of international economic and trade rules, development of dispute resolution for investment disputes and use of mediation in promoting high-quality Belt & Road co-operation as well as consideration of Hong Kong's role in strengthening legal safeguards under the Belt & Road Initiative. There were also important discussions on the avenues and legal instruments in addressing external challenges such as unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction as well as discriminatory measures, citing the case brought by Hong Kong, China against the US in relation to the origin marking requirement imposed on Hong Kong products by the US. There was also an exchange on China's foreign relations law and the extraterritorial application of Chinese law, and the role of private international law in promoting the high standard of China's opening-up. Delivering the event's welcome remarks, Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong SAR Acting Commissioner Li Yongsheng noted that China is committed to upholding true multilateralism and safeguarding the international-law-based international order.
The theme for this year’s Hong Kong Legal Week is “Onward & Forward: Connecting the World”, as we aim to highlight Hong Kong’s role in facilitating international co-operation and global connectivity in the post-pandemic world. Under the “one country, two systems” principle, Hong Kong has the distinctive advantages of enjoying strong support from China, our motherland, while being closely connected to the world. Having direct access to the huge Mainland market and strong international connectivity at the same time, Hong Kong is determined to serve as a “super connector” and a bridge linking the Mainland and the rest of the world. I am confident that the events during Legal Week will serve as a powerful demonstration of our unwavering commitment in strengthening our unique status as the “super connector” in promoting global connectivity. Judicial SummitAs we emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial for us to reflect on the lessons learned and foster global connectivity to move forward together. To strengthen global connectivity, continuous exchanges and knowledge-sharing on legal rules governing cross-border commerce and exchanges are of utmost importance. In today’s Judicial Summit, we are delighted to gather here in Hong Kong, a leading international trade centre and a legal and dispute resolution services hub, to discuss current issues in international trade law and dispute resolution under this year’s theme, “Post-pandemic resilience, new beginnings, and innovations in international trade law and dispute resolution”. The last edition of the Judicial Summit was held in Hong Kong in 2021 when we were still in the midst of the pandemic and participation from overseas was basically confined to online participation. I am therefore pleased to see so many overseas participants in person today at this fifth edition of the Judicial Summit, which is a very good testimony of the fact that Hong Kong is connecting to the world again. On top of that, the biennial Judicial Summit marks a memorable occasion for our seamless collaboration with UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) in the past decade. The inaugural Asia-Pacific Judicial Summit first took place in Hong Kong in 2015, and we are proud to be hosting the 5th Judicial Summit today. I would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the strong and fruitful collaboration between the Department of Justice and UNCITRAL. UNCITRAL, being the core legal body of the United Nations system in the area of international trade law, has been working in commercial law reform worldwide since its establishment in 1966 with a view to harmonising and modernising various international commercial rules. In recent years, the Department of Justice has been working closely with UNCITRAL on various initiatives. For example, we have co-organised events such as the UNCITRAL Working Group III Inter-Sessional Meeting on the Use of Mediation in Investor-State Dispute Settlement, and worked with UNCITRAL to set up the Inclusive Global Legal Innovation Platform on ODR (online dispute resolution) to facilitate studies on issues relating to online dispute resolution and to foster development of innovative solutions. These collaborative efforts have allowed us to contribute to the evolution of international trade law and dispute resolution mechanisms. In addition, we are delighted to see UNCITRAL’s strong support for the secondment programme with the Department of Justice, which enables our officers to actively take part in UNCITRAL’s work and enhance their knowledge of international legal matters, strengthening Hong Kong’s capacity in foreign-related legal affairs. I am glad that a colleague of mine who has been seconded to the UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific is also with us today and will be speaking on some UNCITRAL texts at the Judicial Conference this morning. Indeed, the Judicial Conference today will cover a wide spectrum of UNCITRAL texts, from the recently signed United Nations Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships, also known as the Beijing Convention, and UNCITRAL texts on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, to UNCITRAL’s recent work on dispute resolution and on the digital economy and trade. These carefully selected topics are of great significance in re-establishing connectivity in the post-pandemic world. They also highlight the concerted efforts made by UNCITRAL and the international community in advancing the development of international trade law to prepare for a more interconnected world. In addition to today’s Judicial Conference, tomorrow we will also host a closed-door Judicial Roundtable. This exclusive session is specifically designed to better balance and cater to the needs of judges and judicial officers, allowing them to gain knowledge while also sharing their valuable experiences, and the closed-door format is a tradition that has continued since 2017. This year, judge participants from all over the world will engage in roundtable discussions on the UNCITRAL mediation framework as well as sharing experience in the use of technology in dispute resolution and court proceedings. Other eventsIn addition to our events co-organised with UNCITRAL, Legal Week 2023 also features other significant events. Tomorrow, we will host the Legal Forum on Interconnectivity & Development, focusing on our effort to promote global interconnectivity and high-quality development along the Belt & Road region. On Wednesday, we will host events under the theme of “New Domains in Mediation & Arbitration” to explore current topics in international commercial arbitration and mediation. Thursday’s programme includes panel discussions and forums exploring the potential of Hong Kong as a gateway to the opportunities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Finally, on Friday, we will hold a series of sessions under the theme “Rule of Law for the Future”, featuring panel discussions on various topics, ranging from the legal aspects of the development of the maritime and aviation industry in Hong Kong, rule of law and national security law education, to intriguing topics in art law and intellectual property law, aiming to support Hong Kong’s development as an East-meets-West cultural centre and a regional intellectual property trading centre. Therefore, you will see that the events during Hong Kong Legal Week 2023 echo the strong support for further development of Hong Kong in eight key areas (eight centres) under the National 14th Five-Year Plan. Our priority is to reinforce our position as an international financial centre, and promote the development of two emerging industries by enhancing our status as an innovation and technology centre, as well as the East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange. At the same time, we will continue to play our role as an international trade centre and fully capitalise on our existing status as an international shipping centre and global aviation hub to enhance our functions in the regional and global supply chain. We will also continue to enhance our strengths as the legal and dispute resolution services centre in the Asia-Pacific region and develop Hong Kong into a regional intellectual property trading centre. As participants will appreciate, the events and the theme of the Hong Kong Legal Week 2023 are highly relevant to the development of the “eight centres” in Hong Kong. I am confident that the Hong Kong Legal Week 2023 will serve as a platform to showcase and explore how individuals, organisations, and communities, based locally in Hong Kong or overseas, can seize these opportunities and move forward together. Capacity buildingFinally, I must pay tribute to UNCITRAL and other partners this week for their significant contributions to capacity building for this region and beyond. The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015, serves as a shared blueprint for promoting peace and prosperity for people and the planet, both now and into the future. Target 3 in Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires us to “promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all”. Furthermore, Goal 17 is to “strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development”. This goal recognises capacity-building as a crucial part of implementing the SDGs. Hong Kong is determined to further enhance its status as a regional hub for capacity-building. In line with our Chief Executive’s Policy Address 2023, we will set up a dedicated office and an expert group within next year to take forward the establishment of the Hong Kong International Legal Talents Training Academy. Leveraging Hong Kong’s bilingual common law system and international status, the academy will regularly organise practical training courses, seminars, and international exchange programmes to promote exchanges among legal professionals, judges and government officials in the Asia-Pacific region as well as around the world. The academy, when established, will also provide training for talent in the practice of foreign-related legal affairs for the country, and nurture legal talent conversant with international law, common law, civil law, and the country’s legal system. In fact, capacity-building initiatives by and among international organisations play a pivotal role in equipping government officials, practitioners and other stakeholders with the necessary legal skills and knowledge to navigate the complex international legal landscape. These initiatives foster collaborative relationships between international organisations and economies, while also nurturing a pool of legal talent and professionals. Such efforts can contribute to improved access to justice within the region and beyond, addressing the growing demand for legal expertise as international trade increases. The Judicial Summit taking place today, jointly organised by UNCITRAL and the Department of Justice, exemplifies Hong Kong’s distinctive potential as a regional centre for capacity-building. Moving forward, the Hong Kong International Legal Talents Training Academy will strive to organise more and more capacity-building programmes and regular training courses to cater to the growing demands for legal training and exchanges in the region. I encourage all of you to stay updated on our future activities and take full advantage of the excellent training opportunities they provide. Secretary for Justice Paul Lam gave these remarks at the 5th United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Asia Pacific Judicial Summit - Judicial Conference, part of Hong Kong Legal Week 2023, on November 6.
Hong Kong Legal Week 2023, themed “Onward & Forward: Connecting the World”, began today. An annual flagship event for the legal sector organised by the Department of Justice (DoJ), Legal Week 2023 features various conferences and forums over a five-day period and will be attended by more than 600 registrants each day, with more than 50 jurisdictions represented throughout the week. Prominent legal and dispute resolution experts and academics from around the world are scheduled to discuss important topics such as international legal co-operation, mediation and arbitration, as well as opportunities brought by the Greater Bay Area and the Belt & Road Initiative. Legal Week 2023 began this morning with the 5th UNCITRAL Asia Pacific Judicial Summit - Judicial Conference, in which guest speakers from various places shared their insights on international trade law topics. In his welcome remarks, Secretary for Justice Paul Lam stressed that Hong Kong has the distinctive advantages of enjoying strong support from the motherland while being closely connected to the world under “one country, two systems”. He added that Hong Kong, having direct access to the Mainland’s vast market, in addition to boasting strong international connectivity, is determined to serve as a super connector and a bridge linking the Mainland with the rest of the world. Moreover, he told attendees the DoJ will set up a dedicated office and an expert group within 2024 to take forward the establishment of the International Legal Talents Training Academy, following its announcement in the 2023 Policy Address. Mr Lam explained that the academy would leverage Hong Kong’s bilingual common law system and international status to promote exchanges among legal professionals, judges and government officials in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as around the world. He added that it will provide training for Mainland talent to carry out foreign-related legal activities, and nurture legal talent conversant with international law, common law, civil law, and the Mainland’s legal system. Mr Lam, Chief Executive John Lee and Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Liu Guangyuan will speak at “Rule of Law for the Future”, an event on Friday that will mark the finale of Legal Week 2023. In addition, Mr Lam will attend a dialogue session to answer questions and clarify misunderstandings about the National Security Law. For the first time at Hong Kong Legal Week, exhibition booths dedicated to the promotion of legal services in Hong Kong, Macau and the nine Mainland cities in the bay area will be set up outside the main event venue. Representatives from these cities will introduce developments and opportunities relating to the sector in the bay area and respond to enquiries from visitors. The public can visit the event’s dedicated website for details and to access webcast sessions.
Brothers Adnan and Reyhan Saeed are only in their 20s, but have already achieved their dream of becoming police officers, thanks to Yuen Long Police District’s Project Himalaya. Of Pakistani descent, but born and bred in the city, the brothers have deep roots in Hong Kong through their grandfather and went to mainstream schools in Tin Shui Wai. According to Reyhan, many young non-ethnic Chinese often feel uncertain about their future as they usually come from low income families. “Locals mainly view non-ethnic Chinese as employed in manual labour such as construction or warehouse work. Many young non-ethnic Chinese lack confidence due to their skin colour and believe it is challenging to compete with local talent.”Role modelsWhen they were in secondary school, the brothers listened to a talk by Hong Kong's first non-ethnic Chinese police inspector Abdul Faisal which inspired them to join the force in the hopes of also becoming role models for the next generation. “Mr Faisal told us that if we are willing to try, there are opportunities in Hong Kong,” Reyhan added. In August last year, 22-year-old Adnan and 20-year-old Reyhan passed the interviews to be accepted to the Police College. They excelled during training, with younger brother Reyhan even breaking the college's 28-year-old record by finishing the 2,400m run in just seven minutes and 14 seconds. Competitive edgeIn February, the brothers finally achieved their dream and officially became police constables. Adnan was assigned to the Patrol Sub-unit of the Yuen Long Division, while Reyhan joined that of the Tuen Mun Division. Yuen Long has a significant population of non-ethnic Chinese, and Muslims gather for prayers on Fridays at midday at two main mosques in the area, Adnan explained. “My colleagues and I usually patrol during prayer times to find out about recent goings on and the needs of the ethnic minority communities, then report what we have learnt to our superiors.” He added that the brothers’ ability to speak Cantonese, English, Putonghua, their native language of Urdu and even Indonesian, in addition to their knowledge of Islam, proves invaluable in their duties. Adnan also noted that he is able to effectively carry out his duties by establishing an immediate trust with individuals involved in cases related to non-ethnic Chinese as he knows how to handle situations involving the more conservative ethnic minority females. Diverse learningProject Himalaya, a programme aimed at encouraging ethnic minority youngsters aged six to 25 to join the force, played a key role in helping the brothers achieve their policing dreams. There are currently around 870 programme participants, primarily from Nepal, Pakistan and India. Some of them have only limited knowledge of Chinese. They get the opportunity to improve their Chinese language skills and take music and sports classes. They also prepare for the police selection process by practising for the physical fitness test and interview as well as visit various police units and cultural places, such as the Hong Kong Palace Museum. Police noted that the participants showed significant progress after joining the project. “They develop a stronger awareness of crime prevention, improve their Chinese language proficiency and get a deeper understanding of the local culture and the city's disciplinary forces. They also gain more confidence and improve their life planning skills,” Police Yuen Long District School Liaison Officer Wong Man-keung noted. Since its inception in 2013, the programme has seen participants joining the Police Force, the Auxiliary Police Force and other disciplinary forces. Mr Wong pointed out that the population of non-ethnic Chinese is growing continuously.  He hopes more ethnic minorities will join the Police Force. “They have a unique culture, language, lifestyle and education, and laws are different in their native countries. That is why we greatly need their participation to help us enforce the law.”
Hong Kong Legal Week 2023 will be launched on November 6 with the aim of bringing together prominent legal and dispute resolution experts and academics from around the world to share their insights. Being the Department of Justice’s annual flagship event, this year's Hong Kong Legal Week will explore important topics including international legal co-operation, mediation, arbitration, and opportunities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and the Belt & Road Initiative. It will be the first time a special session is hosted for the Secretary for Justice to answer questions and clarify misunderstandings about the National Security Law. In addition, there will be interactive sessions for young people, such as the Understanding the three jurisdictions - Embracing opportunities and realising dreams in the GBA forum where young legal representatives from the three places are invited to discuss the opportunities offered in the GBA. During the Youth Empowerment through Rule of Law Education session, students will also have a chance to chat with a Legislative Council member, a school principal and a teacher on the rule of law topics. This year, exhibition booths dedicated to promoting legal services in Hong Kong, Macau and the nine Mainland cities in the bay area will also be set up for the first time during the Hong Kong Legal Week forum outside the main event venue. Representatives from the cities will introduce the new developments and opportunities of the legal services in the GBA and answer participants' enquiries. The five-day programme will feature a series of international and important events in a hybrid mode. Furthermore, a live broadcast will be available.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today strongly condemned the US lawmakers who put forward a bill in an attempt to include a number of Hong Kong SAR personnel as sanction targets, noting that those lawmakers were trying to intimidate government workers who safeguard national security. The personnel include the Secretary for Justice, the Secretary General of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong SAR, the Commissioner of Police as well as some judges and prosecutors. In a press statement, the Hong Kong SAR Government said as it is clear that safeguarding national security falls within the internal affairs of a sovereign jurisdiction, the National Security Law’s implementation is free from any intervention. It continued to state that while the black-clad violence and the Hong Kong version of the colour revolution back in 2019 had severely damaged social stability, the successful implementation of the National Security Law has enabled the Hong Kong community at large to swiftly resume as normal and the business environment to be restored. It also noted that those US politicians however, insisted on turning a blind eye to the facts and even clamoured for sanctions against Hong Kong SAR Government staff who dutifully safeguard national security. Their political grandstanding rife with ill intentions, which have been seen through by all, must be strongly condemned, it stressed. Stating that Hong Kong despises any sanctions and shall never be intimidated, the Hong Kong SAR Government made it clear that it shall continue to resolutely discharge the responsibility of safeguarding national security. At the same time, it strongly urged the US politicians concerned to discern facts from fallacies, immediately stop acting against international law and the basic norms of international relations, and stop interfering in Hong Kong matters which are purely China’s internal affairs. It also pointed out that any attempt to interfere with Hong Kong’s judicial proceedings by means of political power is a reprehensible act undermining the rule of law. Making any statement with the intent to interfere with or obstruct the course of justice, or engaging in conduct with the same intent, is very likely to constitute the offence of criminal contempt of court or the offence of perverting the course of justice, the Hong Kong SAR Government added.
The Judiciary today strongly condemned any attempt to exert improper pressure, including suggestions about imposing sanctions, on judges and judicial officers (JJOs), stressing that it considered any such attempts a flagrant and direct affront to the rule of law, judicial independence and the JJOs. With the rule of law and judicial independence guaranteed under the Basic Law, the Judiciary pointed out that the constitutional duty of JJOs is to exercise their judicial power independently and professionally in every case strictly on the basis of the law and evidence, and nothing else. All JJOs, including designated judges under the National Security Law, must also abide by the Judicial Oath to administer justice in full accordance with the law, and without fear, favour, self-interest or deceit. The Judiciary also noted that although JJOs cannot control what cases are brought before them, once a case is brought before the court, it must be dealt with by the court strictly in accordance with law. Exercising judicial power independently, all JJOs will continue to abide by the Judicial Oath and firmly discharge their duties in the administration of justice, without fear from intimidation, the Judiciary reiterated.
The Immigration Department today clarified that a letter it purportedly issued claiming the Government will stop accepting applications under the Supplementary Labour Scheme (SLS) from November is groundless and fictitious. The department stressed that it never issued such a letter to any person or organisation, and reminded the public not to be misled by the fake message. It condemned the parties who made use of the false document to deliberately disseminate incorrect and untrue information, adding that resolute follow-up action will be taken. The SLS has been renamed as the Enhanced Supplementary Labour Scheme (ESLS) and started accepting applications since September 4. The approvals-in-principle previously granted under the SLS remain valid for the purpose of application for employment in Hong Kong under the ESLS within the periods specified in the approval-in-principle letters. Click here for details on visa or entry permit applications for employment as an imported worker under the ESLS.