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2024

24/06/2024
The Police Licensing Office today launched the HKP e-Licence mobile app for issuing electronic licences and permits to provide applicants with further convenience through e-service, Police announced. All eight types of licences and permits processed by the office will be issued through the mobile app. Such documents include Arms Licence, Massage Establishments Licence, Playing Musical Instrument Permit in Public Street or Road, Pawnbrokers Licence, Temporary Liquor Licence, Lion/Dragon/Unicorn Dance Permit, Security Personnel Permit, and Societies Registration. Currently, members of the public can make online applications and payments for the eight types of licences or permits. After the launch of HKP e-Licence, licence or permit holders can access their approved documents at any time through the mobile app. The app also features a push notification function to remind users to renew their licences or permits, Police added. Furthermore, the paper form of licences and permits will continue to be available after the launch of the app to allow document holders to keep a paper copy if they so prefer. Police pointed out that both electronic and paper copies contain identical information with QR codes, and the holders can present either format for inspection by enforcement officers.
20/06/2024
Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung today visited the Customs & Excise Department to learn more about its work in maritime enforcement as well as import and export clearance. Mrs Yeung first arrived at the Customs Marine Base (CMB) on Stonecutters Island, where she met Commissioner of Customs & Excise Louise Ho and directorate staff, and received a briefing from them on the department’s latest developments, law enforcement work and measures to facilitate trade and clearance. She was pleased to learn that Customs would introduce to colleagues the content of the recently updated Civil Service Code to explain the core values of civil servants. Mrs Yeung then toured the CMB and boarded a high-speed pursuit craft and a sector patrol launch, where marine enforcement staff briefed her on their patrol and law enforcement work as well as on the facilities on board. The civil service chief also chatted with frontline staff to learn about the challenges they encounter in their patrol and anti-smuggling operations. At the Cargo Examination Compound of the Kwai Chung Customhouse, she learnt more about the clearance and examination work for sea cargo, and viewed a cargo inspection demonstration by ports and maritime command staff who used the latest examination equipment to help ensure that no prohibited and controlled items enter Hong Kong. Mrs Yeung concluded her visit by meeting staff representatives from various grades in the department.
18/06/2024
The Task Force on Basic Law Article 23 Legislation comprising the Department of Justice, the Security Bureau and the Hong Kong Police Force has been awarded in a new round of the Chief Executive's Award for Exemplary Performance. The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance was unanimously passed by the Legislative Council on March 19 this year and took effect on March 23. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region accomplished the legislation for Article 23 of the Basic Law, fulfilling the constitutional responsibility and historic mission that the city had been waiting 26 years, eight months and 19 days for. The task force held nearly 30 consultation sessions to provide detailed briefings to various sectors of the community during the one-month public consultation period. It took less than a week to conduct a comprehensive analysis on over 13,000 submissions received, and introduced the finalised bill to LegCo for scrutiny nine days after the consultation period concluded. During the Bills Committee's scrutiny, the task force gave detailed replies to more than 1,000 questions raised by LegCo members, and proposed 91 amendments after listening to and studying their views. In the face of malicious attacks and smears on Basic Law Article 23 legislation by external forces, the task force was capable of delivering prompt and cogent refutation every time to prevent the public from being misled by unfounded remarks. Chief Executive John Lee said the task force's exemplary performance in legislating for Article 23 is highly commendable, adding that it has worked tirelessly to accomplish the glorious historic mission for Hong Kong. “The efficiency, professionalism and determination of this cross-departmental task force provided important contributions to a glorious chapter in Hong Kong history. The task force demonstrates an outstanding example for the civil service and truly deserves the award.” Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung also extended congratulations to the task force. Mrs Yeung noted the task force's relentless hard work and concerted efforts in completing the historic mission of legislating for Article 23 in a highly efficient and expeditious manner demonstrates the civil service's unwavering courage and determination to safeguard national security without fear of challenges, and that the task force is an outstanding example worthy of emulation by civil service colleagues. Task force representative and then Deputy Secretary for Security Apollonia Liu expressed her deep honour and gratitude for the task force receiving the Chief Executive's Award for Exemplary Performance. Mrs Liu pointed out that the Department of Justice, the Security Bureau and Police have all along been co-operating well in their respective roles and responsibilities in safeguarding national security. “The smooth completion of legislating for Article 23 by the team hinged on the leadership of the Chief Executive and the support of the central authorities, the high quality and very efficient scrutiny by LegCo, the full co-operation of relevant government departments and the support from various sectors of the community and members of the public who love the country and Hong Kong.”
18/06/2024
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today strongly condemned the vile actions of the Christian Zheng Sheng Association Board of Directors which, on top of harbouring wrongdoers, has failed to fulfil its role and duty. In a statement, the Hong Kong SAR Government said it has completely lost faith in the board. It noted that the Security Bureau’s Narcotics Division met the association’s newly formed board following the latter’s claims on June 12 that it would make decisions relating to the Christian Zheng Sheng College with a responsible attitude. To its dismay, the Hong Kong SAR Government found that the board did not substantiate its claims. There are also reasons to question the truthfulness of the board's claims that it has cut all ties with its former directors Lam Hay-sing and Alman Chan, who have absconded from Hong Kong. On the board’s claims that the suspension of the college’s operation was due to financial difficulties, the statement pointed out that the board, after a reorganisation, immediately passed a resolution at its first meeting refusing to recover funds amounting to over $50 million. The funds were raised in the name of the college and were transferred abroad by Lam Hay-sing and Alman Chan earlier. At the meeting, the board again refused to recover the money concerned, which clearly shows that it has no intention to help the college’s teachers and students, and it is suspicious that the board is trying to harbour the absconders. The statement also rejected the board’s claims that it has cut all ties with Lam Hay-sing and Alman Chan, and that the duo have no power to direct the board’s decisions. The fact is that the two wanted persons are still board members of the Christian Zheng Sheng College Limited and/or the Zheng Sheng Charities Limited under the association, and can also operate the bank accounts of the association and its subsidiaries. Furthermore, since taking up office in mid-April, the current board has neither proposed any specific measures to resolve the problems faced by the college, nor shown any commitment and capacity to manage the college. Instead, it issued an inaccurate statement to mislead the public. The Hong Kong SAR Government reiterated that it accords great importance to students’ interests, and has placed the welfare of the college’s teachers and students as a top priority.  While relevant government departments will provide the most appropriate assistance and arrangements for students who are leaving the college, law enforcement agencies will investigate and follow up on matters concerning the association and the college in accordance with the law, it added.
18/06/2024
The Government today announced that the old form of smart identity cards issued before November 26, 2018 will be invalidated in two phases in 2025.   The measure follows the conclusion of the Territory-wide Identity Card Replacement Exercise on March 3 last year. Phase I of the invalidation exercise will cover old ID card holders born in 1970 or after, whose old cards will become invalid on May 12, 2025. Phase II will cover old ID card holders born in 1969 or before, whose old cards will become invalid on October 12, 2025. The Registration of Persons (Invalidation of Identity Cards) Order 2024 will be published in the Gazette on June 21, and tabled at the Legislative Council for negative vetting on June 26. The invalidation order covers all Hong Kong residents, whether they are permanent residents or non-permanent residents who are permitted to take up employment, make investments, reside or study in Hong Kong. It also involves those who stay at a residential care home, who are eligible for the on-site identity card replacement service. If the old ID cards have not been replaced, they will be invalidated on the specified dates in accordance with the invalidation order. The Immigration Department (ImmD) urges residents still holding old ID cards to make appointments for replacement as soon as possible. Click here for samples of old ID cards and here for samples of new ones. For those who are unable to have their ID cards replaced during the specified call-up periods due to absence from Hong Kong, they should replace their cards within 30 days of their return to the city. Failure to apply for a new ID card within the specified call-up periods without a reasonable excuse is an offence. Offenders may be prosecuted and be liable to a fine of $5,000 upon conviction.    The aged, the blind or the infirm who satisfy a registration officer that their personal attendance for registration of Hong Kong ID cards will injure their health or the health of others may, instead of applying for a new ID card replacement, apply for a Certificate of Exemption. The invalidation of old ID cards will not affect the right of abode in Hong Kong of the holders concerned unless he or she has lost permanent resident status under the Immigration Ordinance. Members of the public can apply for replacement of new ID cards at designated registration of persons offices. They may scan the QR codes to download the ImmD mobile application, visit the website, or call the 24-hour telephone booking hotline 2598 0888 to make an appointment for ID card application at these offices. For enquiries, call 2824 6111, send a fax to 2877 7711 or send an email.
17/06/2024
The Department of Justice’s (DoJ) Prosecution Division today released an annual report that reviews its prosecution work in 2023. The department said that all prosecutorial decisions made by it are based on the law, the evidence and the Prosecution Code, noting that prosecutors do not consider, and would not be influenced by irrelevant considerations such as political or individual interests, possible media or public reaction and personal feelings or beliefs of the prosecutors. In the Director's Overview of Prosecutions Hong Kong 2023, Director of Public Prosecutions Maggie Yang emphasised the importance of prosecutorial independence and pointed out that Article 63 of the Basic Law stipulates that the DoJ shall control criminal prosecutions free from any interference. The Prosecutions Division's prosecutors will continue to deliver justice with integrity and discharge their entrenched duty with humility and dignity, she added. Apart from setting out the important achievements of the Prosecutions Division in 2023, which include the establishment of a dedicated subdivision specialising in handling technology crime cases, the review gives a detailed account of the key cases handled by its subdivisions.
14/06/2024
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today said it strongly disapproves of and rejects smearing comments made by the US and some western countries regarding the specification of absconders and specific measures applicable against them by the Secretary for Security in accordance with the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance recently. In a statement responding to media enquiries, the Hong Kong SAR Government said the legal framework in safeguarding national security in the city is fully in compliance with the international standard for the protection of human rights. It added that individuals endangering national security often abscond overseas to evade criminal liability, and continue to endanger national security through various means. The specified measures aim at addressing, combating, deterring and preventing acts of abscondment, and procuring the return of absconded persons to Hong Kong to face law enforcement and judicial proceedings, the statement explained. It also pointed out that people with ulterior motives in the US and some western countries deliberately smeared and spread irresponsible remarks in an attempt to mislead the public, and the Hong Kong SAR Government strongly disapproves of such acts. Absconders should not think they can evade criminal liability by absconding from Hong Kong and they will ultimately be liable for their acts constituting serious offences endangering national security and be sanctioned by the law. The measures under section 96 of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance seek to regard an absconder’s Hong Kong SAR passport as being cancelled and the application for a Hong Kong SAR passport by the absconder as being invalid. All specified measures align with human rights requirements and quite a number of countries, including the US, the UK and Canada, would also impose such measures on wanted criminals. It is a demonstration of hypocrisy with double standards by any external forces or people with ulterior motives that, after the Hong Kong SAR Government has announced the relevant measures, attack the city in safeguarding national security dutifully, faithfully and in accordance with the law. The Constitution and the Basic Law steadfastly safeguard the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong people. Any attempt by foreign countries or external forces to undermine Hong Kong's situation will only expose their own weakness and faulty arguments and be doomed to fail. The Hong Kong SAR Government will continue to unwaveringly discharge its duty in safeguarding national security.
13/06/2024
The Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Supreme People’s Court today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on establishing a standing interface platform on judicial and legal co-operation in the Greater Bay Area (GBA). The MOU was signed by Deputy Secretary for Justice Cheung Kwok-kwan and Supreme People’s Court Research Office Director General Zhou Jiahai in Beijing. The standing interface platform serves as a regular and institutionalised high-level official communication mechanism for deepening exchanges and co-operation, and taking forward the work on the interfaces of mechanisms, regulatory frameworks and talent. Before the MOU was signed, Supreme People’s Court Executive Vice-President Deng Xiuming met Mr Cheung and his delegation. The establishment of the interface platform is one of the policy initiatives in The Chief Executive’s 2023 Policy Address. It is also an important measure in the DoJ’s Action Plan on the Construction of Rule of Law in the Greater Bay Area for strengthening the interface of the communication mechanism between the Mainland and Hong Kong. The two sides reached an agreement on various fronts to enhance the advantages of the GBA development, including the establishment of a standing interface mechanism to deepen the judicial and legal interface of regulatory frameworks in the GBA, thereby enhancing the cross-boundary multifaceted dispute resolution mechanism. They also agreed to strengthen exchanges and co-operation in the training of foreign-related legal talent, and conduct regular exchanges and visits of relevant officers. Under the interface platform’s framework, both sides will convene high-level joint meetings at least once a year to set the next stage’s work priorities, jointly prepare the work plans and programmes, and notify each other on a regular basis. Mr Cheung said that the standing interface platform would enable the two sides to advance closer and smoother practical and research work on judicial and legal matters relating to the bay area, and better utilise the unique advantages of GBA’s “one country, two systems and three jurisdictions”. The ultimate purpose of the interface platform is to consolidate Hong Kong’s status as a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region, serving the country’s high-quality development as well as the construction of the rule of law in the GBA, he added.
13/06/2024
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government said it strongly disapproves of and rejects the unfounded and biased content targeting Hong Kong’s safeguarding of national security, human rights etc in a so-called annual report on Hong Kong issued by the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy. In a press statement, it also urged the EU to discern facts from fallacies, respect the international law and basic norms governing international relations, and stop interfering in Hong Kong matters which are China’s internal affairs. The Hong Kong SAR Government pointed out that since the implementation of the National Security Law (NSL), the EU has ignored the large-scale and incessant riots that occurred in 2019 in Hong Kong, and has attacked Hong Kong in safeguarding national security dutifully, faithfully and in accordance with the law through the so-called report. It has also deliberately neglected the fact that the NSL has enabled the livelihood and economic activities of the Hong Kong community, and the business environment as well, to return to normalcy. The EU has demonstrated hypocrisy with double standards, the Hong Kong SAR Government said. In fact, early this year, a survey conducted by a major foreign chamber of commerce reflected that nearly 80% of its members interviewed had confidence in the rule of law in Hong Kong, and nearly 70% of them also indicated that the operation of their enterprises had not been affected by the relevant laws, the Hong Kong SAR Government pointed out. It also made it clear that extraterritorial effect for the offences endangering national security under the NSL fully aligns with the principles of international law, international practice and common practice adopted in various countries and regions. The Hong Kong SAR Government specified that Hong Kong Police are duty bound to pursue those who have allegedly committed offences under the NSL outside Hong Kong and the action is fully justified. As an example it stated that after fleeing overseas, the people on the wanted list allegedly continued to commit offences under the NSL. Furthermore, it stressed that the EU must immediately act reasonably and sensibly, and stop smearing the laws safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong SAR. Emphasising that the rule of law in Hong Kong is strong and will not change, the Hong Kong SAR Government said that all prosecutorial decisions are based on an objective analysis of all admissible evidence and applicable laws, and everyone charged with a criminal offence has the right to a fair hearing. In addition, the right to choice of lawyers is protected by the Basic Law, and it is well-established by case law that such a choice means a right to choose lawyers who are available and entitled to practise in Hong Kong, and not overseas lawyers who are not qualified to practise generally in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong SAR Government explained that the amendment to the Legal Practitioners Ordinance was introduced in 2023 with a view to addressing the potential national security risks associated with the participation in national security cases by overseas lawyers who are not qualified to practise generally in Hong Kong, and implementing the interpretation by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of Articles 14 and 47 of the NSL. It underescored that all defendants receive a fair trial strictly in accordance with laws applicable to Hong Kong, and convicted defendants have the right to appeal both conviction and sentence under the law. Moreover, it reiterated that any attempt by foreign countries or external forces to undermine Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability by slandering the city’s situation will only expose their own weakness and faulty arguments and be doomed to fail. The Hong Kong SAR Government elucidated the point that it will continue to discharge its duty, in adherence to the principle of the rule of law, to steadfastly ensure the successful implementation of “one country, two systems”, “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and a high degree of autonomy. What’s more, it stated that it will continue to create strong impetus for growth at full steam, forge a better integration of a capable government and an efficient market, and proactively compete for enterprises and talent to strengthen the city’s competitiveness. The Hong Kong SAR Government added that will take the city’s economic development to new heights, so as to better serve Hong Kong citizens and foster the city’s development.
13/06/2024
Deputy Secretary for Justice Cheung Kwok-kwan began his visit to Beijing by calling on various authorities and organisations, and meeting senior officials of the ministries and authorities to exchange views on various issues. The issues they discussed included the construction of rule of law in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and nurturing foreign-related legal talent. This morning, Mr Cheung met National People's Congress Standing Committee Legislative Affairs Commission Deputy Director Wang Ruihe to introduce to him the Department of Justice's (DoJ) work on promoting the rule of law education including the Constitution, the Basic Law, and the legal mechanism for safeguarding national security. They also had in-depth exchanges on matters such as the taking forward of the extension of the measures of allowing Hong Kong-invested enterprises to adopt Hong Kong law and to choose Hong Kong as the seat of arbitration to the nine Mainland cities of the GBA. Mr Cheung then called on CPC Central Committee Hong Kong & Macao Work Office Director and State Council Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office Director Xia Baolong to brief him on the latest developments of the DoJ's work including establishing the Hong Kong International Legal Talents Training Academy, developing Hong Kong as a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region, and promoting the construction of rule of law in the bay area. Mr Xia fully recognised the important role played by the DoJ in fully and faithfully implementing the "one country, two systems" principle, steadfastly safeguarding national security, enhancing the rule of law in Hong Kong, and protecting the promotion of the long-term prosperity and stability of the city. He also pointed out that the central authorities firmly support Hong Kong to maintain the common law system, to improve the city’s judicial system and legal system, to establish itself as a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region and to develop into a regional intellectual property trading centre.  Mr Xia stressed that the golden reputation of Hong Kong's rule of law is built and maintained by all members of the judicial and legal sectors in Hong Kong, including judges at different levels of courts. The central authorities will firmly defend the dignity of rule of law and the judges in Hong Kong, unwaveringly support Hong Kong courts to exercise judicial power independently according to the law, and steadfastly safeguard the lawful rights of Hong Kong judges and judicial officers, he said. In addition to thanking Mr Xia for such recognition and support, the Deputy Secretary for Justice made it clear that the DoJ would continue to fully, faithfully, and resolutely implement the policy of "one country, two systems", and spare no effort in promoting and consolidating Hong Kong's status as a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region. In the afternoon, Mr Cheung visited the Supreme People's Court and met its Executive Vice-president Deng Xiuming to discuss issues such as enhancing the arrangement for service of judicial documents between the two places. On behalf of the DOJ, he signed a memorandum of understanding with the court on establishing a standing interface platform on judicial and legal co-operation in the GBA. Mr Cheung also visited the Smart Court Laboratory. During his visit to the Peking University Law School, apart from meeting Dean of Law School Prof Guo Li to explore the strengthening of co-operation on nurturing foreign-related legal talent for the country, Mr Cheung toured the school’s law library. After arriving in Beijing yesterday, Mr Cheung met General Administration of Sport of China Department of Policies & Regulations Director General Chu Bo to enhance understanding of the work of the China Commission of Arbitration for Sport, and explore co-operation opportunities between the two places on promoting sports dispute resolution.  He then called on China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Vice Chairman Yu Jianlong to discuss issues that pertain to enhancing co-operation and the nurturing of talent between the two places in commercial mediation.

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