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Secretary for Justice Paul Lam today called on the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the National Development & Reform Commission to exchange views with senior officials of the ministries and authorities on issues of mutual interest. On the second day of his visit to the capital, Mr Lam and the officials in his entourage called on the Supreme People's Procuratorate this morning to meet Procurator-General Ying Yong to discuss the strengthening of legal exchanges and co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland. They also discussed the implementation of the Record of Meeting of the Supreme People's Procuratorate & the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government’s Department of Justice on Exchanges & Co-operation on Legal Matters, so as to strengthen the training for the staff of both sides, and to share their work experiences. Other important issues were also examined. In the afternoon, Mr Lam met National Development & Reform Commission Deputy Director Cong Liang to discuss and exchange views on topics including advancing Hong Kong's status as a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region, participating in and contributing to the country's Belt & Road Initiative work plan, and developing Hong Kong into a training base for the country's talent in the practice of foreign-related legal affairs. On the first day of his visit, the justice chief called on the Supreme People's Court and met its President Zhang Jun to have an in-depth discussion on topics including enhancing mutual legal assistance between the Mainland and Hong Kong, deepening the legal systems' connectivity within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and promoting the nurturing of the country's talent in the practice of foreign-related legal affairs, and to consider concrete implementation work. Mr Lam also visited the State Council’s State-owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission and met its Vice Chairman Weng Jieming to explore implementing measures to better utilise the advantages of Hong Kong's common law system and setting up exchange mechanisms, with a view to enabling state-owned enterprises to have a better understanding of Hong Kong's legal system and dispute resolution services. Both sides also discussed ways to contribute to the country's cultivation of a team of foreign-related legal talent. In addition, Mr Lam met National Supervisory Commission Deputy Director Zhang Fuhai to explore further strengthening the legal exchange, co-operation and staff training between the two places on important issues including anti-corruption and anti-money laundering.
Secretary for Justice Paul Lam will depart tomorrow for a five-day visit to Beijing, the Department of Justice announced today. Mr Lam will call on the Legislative Affairs Commission and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Basic Law Committee of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the National Supervisory Commission, the Ministry of Justice, the National Development & Reform Commission, the State-owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission of the State Council, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office of the State Council. The meetings aim to strengthen exchanges and co-operation between the Mainland and Hong Kong on legal and dispute resolution services, in order to fully leverage Hong Kong’s unique advantages of enjoying the strong support of the motherland and being closely connected to the world under “one country, two systems”, contributing to the promotion of the rule of law development of the country and the city. Mr Lam will return to Hong Kong on June 2. During his absence, Deputy Secretary for Justice Cheung Kwok-kwan will be Acting Secretary.
The 2023 Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Legal Professional Examination (GBA Examination) was successfully held in Hong Kong and Zhuhai today. Secretary for Justice Paul Lam said: “We hope that the GBA Examination can be converted from a pilot scheme to a regular examination such that in the future, more Hong Kong legal practitioners will obtain practice qualification to provide legal services in the nine Mainland municipalities in the bay area on specified civil and commercial matters to which the Mainland laws apply. “These lawyers with dual qualification will, in the course of their practice in the bay area, co-operate with their Mainland counterparts and share their respective experiences and collaborate in resolving cross-jurisdictional legal issues. “This is conducive to accelerating the nurture of talent in international legal affairs in the bay area, deepening the alignment and harmonisation of rules and mechanisms in civil and commercial matters in the bay area as well as facilitating the integration of Hong Kong legal practitioners into national development.” The Department of Justice thanked the Examinations & Assessment Authority for its efforts in ensuring that the GBA Examination could be successfully held in Hong Kong.
Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung today led members of the Security Bureau Youth Uniformed Group Leaders Forum on a three-day innovation and technology study tour in the Greater Bay Area. The study tour covers visits and exchange programmes in Dongguan and Shenzhen for the youths to learn about the country’s developments, understand national affairs and broaden their horizons, the bureau said. In the morning, Mr Tang and over 20 members of the leaders forum arrived in Dongguan and toured the Humen Fort and the Naval Battle Museum before attending a seminar organised by leaders of the Dongguan Municipal Government. Noting that it was the leaders forum’s first activity outside Hong Kong, Mr Tang said the members will be able to study the country’s significant developments in different aspects. The security chief and youth leaders called on Huawei’s research institute in Songshan Lake in the afternoon, to learn about the firm’s research, training and development. The group also visited the Songshan Lake Hong Kong-Macao Youth Innovation & Start-up Base and were briefed by young people from Hong Kong and Macau on their experiences in starting a business and career development plans in the Mainland. In the evening, they visited the China Resources (Holdings) Company to understand its diverse development. In the coming two days, the group’s itinerary includes calling on the headquarters of BYD and Tencent in Shenzhen, a tour of Shenzhen University, and a visit to the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation & Entrepreneur Hub. The group will also go to the Shenzhen Reform & Opening-up Exhibition Hall, the OH Bay and the MixC World to learn about the Mainland’s different facets, the bureau added.
Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung concluded his visit to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area today by calling on public security and emergency management units in Huizhou. Mr Tang called on the Vice Mayor of Huizhou & Director-General of Huizhou Municipal Public Security Bureau Chen Haibo to exchange views on issues such as facilitating the flow of talent, emergency management as well as fire services and rescue. Mr Tang expressed his gratitude to the Huizhou Municipal Public Security Bureau for maintaining close ties and co-operation with Hong Kong's Security Bureau and its disciplined services. He introduced the new Greater Bay Area Emergency Response Operational Plan formulated by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government for enhancing the capability of bay area cities in handling incidents together to Mr Chen and deputy head of Huizhou Municipal Emergency Management Bureau Li Zhengcheng who was also in attendance. During his stay in Dongguan and Huizhou, Mr Tang also inspected Huawei's terminal headquarters in Songshan Lake of Dongguan and the TCL Technology Group Corporation's headquarters in Huizhou to learn about the cutting-edge technology and equipment of the two leading high-technology enterprises. He also learnt about the technical knowledge related to law enforcement and emergency management of the disciplined forces to explore the enhancement of service and law enforcement capabilities with innovation and technology. As he wrapped up his two-day visit to Guangzhou, Dongguan and Huizhou, Mr Tang returned to Hong Kong this evening.
The Immigration Department announced today that it will adjust application procedures for entry of visa/entry permits for dependents, foreign domestic helpers, imported workers, students, or those who wish to enter Hong Kong for training or a working holiday as from June 19. Applicants under these categories have to declare whether they have any criminal convictions when they apply for entry visa/entry permits. As a transitional arrangement, the department will continue to process applications that reach it on or before June 18, regardless of whether a declaration on criminal convictions has been made. Application procedures for extension of stay will not be included in this adjustment, the department said. It added that foreign domestic helpers currently working in Hong Kong applying for contract renewal with the same employer or for completing the remaining/extended period of the current contract with the same employer and for change of employer in Hong Kong will not be included in this adjustment either.
Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung today visited public security and emergency management units in Guangzhou and Dongguan, and toured a Guangzhou innovation and technology enterprise. Arriving in Guangzhou this morning, Mr Tang called on Guangdong Department of Emergency Management Director Wang Zaihua and introduced him to the new Greater Bay Area Emergency Response Operational Plan formulated by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. The plan aims to establish a more comprehensive, pragmatic and systematic emergency response mechanism to further enhance the capability of the bay area cities in handling incidents together. The security chief thanked Mr Wang and Guangdong Fire & Rescue Corps Deputy Head Luo Yunqing who was also in attendance, for supporting the Hong Kong SAR Government, enabling comprehensive co-operation and teamwork in emergency management. Mr Tang hopes that with the Guangdong Department of Emergency Management’s co-ordination, the bay area cities will study the operational plan and hold joint working meetings to take it forward. He then called on Guangzhou Vice Mayor & Public Security Bureau Director-General Zhang Rui as well as Dongguan Vice Mayor & Public Security Bureau Director-General Qiao Lei. They discussed strengthening emergency management and co-operation, promoting talent flow and combatting cross-boundary crimes. Mr Tang also toured the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation in Guangzhou to learn about its innovation and technology on electronic information. The corporation also specialises in advanced equipment and technologies related to law enforcement and emergency response.
The Government will introduce the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill 2023 into the Legislative Council on May 31. The bill seeks to provide for statutory appeal procedures for the prosecution to appeal against rulings of no case to answer (no-case rulings) made by the Court of First Instance (CFI) in criminal trials with a jury. It also seeks to appeal by way of case stated against a verdict or order of acquittal given by the CFI constituted by a panel of three judges to try a case concerning offences endangering national security without a jury under Article 46 of the National Security Law. The Department of Justice noted that the proposed new statutory appeal mechanisms are necessary, legitimate and timely responses to address lacunae in the criminal appeal system due to the prosecution's inability to appeal against any no-case rulings and acquittals by professional CFI judges that are erroneous, so as to prevent possible miscarriage of justice. The legislative amendments, being procedural in nature, will apply to rulings, verdicts or orders given after the legislative amendments come into operation, the department said, adding that the bill will neither undermine a defendant's right to a fair trial nor contravene the principle against double jeopardy. The bill will be gazetted on May 25.
Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung will lead a delegation to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area tomorrow for a two-day visit. The delegation will visit Guangzhou, Dongguan and Huizhou to call on the Guangdong Department of Emergency Management as well as the three cities’ public security bureaus and emergency management bureaus. They will also tour local innovation and technology enterprises. The delegation comprises Permanent Secretary for Security Patrick Li, and Police and Fire Services Department representatives. Mr Tang will return to Hong Kong on May 25. During his absence, Under Secretary for Security Michael Cheuk will be Acting Secretary.
Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung explained that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will explore the use of a new “collaborative inspection and joint clearance” mode in planning the redevelopment of the Sha Tau Kok Port and the development of new boundary control points, with a view to facilitating passenger clearance and enhancing clearance efficiency. His explanation was in response to questions posed by a Legislative Council member today. Mr Tang said: “‘Collaborative inspection and joint clearance’ is a new clearance mode and its concept is similar to the ‘joint boundary control system’ proposed by the community. Automatic channels/counters for both outbound and inbound visitors will be set up side by side at the boundary inside a port, such that visitors only need to queue up and have their documents inspected once to pass through the immigration facilities of both sides and complete the respective immigration procedures.” He also pointed out that the Shenzhen and Hong Kong SAR governments have agreed to adopt the “co-location arrangement” at the Huanggang Port, which is currently under redevelopment, and are actively exploring the implementation of “collaborative inspection and joint clearance” there. As regards whether there are plans to implement a similar arrangement at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), Mr Tang noted that such plans must carefully be considered, given that the airport’s status as an international aviation hub connecting different destinations  involves different legal and implementation issues and overall benefits. The Hong Kong SAR Government and Airport Authority Hong Kong will expand the “Fly-Via-Zhuhai-HK” passenger transfer service to include Mainland cities to which Hong Kong does not have direct flights, thereby integrating the international aviation network of HKIA with Zhuhai Airport’s domestic aviation network, with a view to enhancing Hong Kong’s status as an international aviation hub, he added.