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Police today said they are preparing for a possible visit to Hong Kong by President Xi Jinping and will take appropriate measures to ensure his safety and the security of the events he will attend. President Xi is scheduled to attend a meeting celebrating the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland and the inaugural ceremony of the sixth-term Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. At a press conference this afternoon, Police Assistant Commissioner (Operations) Lui Kam-ho said the department is duty-bound to ensure President Xi's personal safety and security, and make sure that the official events he will attend and other related functions are conducted in a safe, orderly and secure manner. As such, Police will put in place a series of security measures, including the provision of motorcade escorts and personal protection to the President, ensuring the venue security of those official and celebration events, and setting up core security zones at the venues where he will stay, visit and pass by as well as security zones outside the venues. Road closures and temporary traffic and pedestrian diversions will also be arranged, such as the temporary closure of footbridges and flyovers during the passage of President Xi's motorcade. Mr Lui noted that Admiralty and the Wan Chai North area will be affected the most between June 30 and July 1, urging motorists to avoid driving to those areas. “The Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre peninsula to the north of Convention Avenue will be closed. All guests and vehicles entering the area will be subject to security screening. “The MTR Exhibition Centre Station will be temporarily closed. It is believed that traffic congestion is very likely in the Wan Chai North area.” As there will be frequent flying tasks deployed by the Government Flying Service and Police throughout the security operation, the Civil Aviation Department will designate temporary restricted flying zones in the vicinity of Victoria Harbour and several designated areas. Aircraft and flying objects will be restricted from entering such areas. After conducting a risk assessment, the force also decided to designate the entire area in Hong Kong as a small-unmanned aircraft restricted flying zone temporarily. Mr Lui added that Police have not received any application for public meetings so far, but the department will set up designated public activity areas outside the security zones to facilitate members of the public to hold such events.
Police’s National Security Department today arrested two men, aged 31 and 53, in Cheung Sha Wan and Chai Wan for doing an act or acts with seditious intention, contravening Section 9 and 10 of the Crimes Ordinance. They were also suspected of possession of an imitation firearm, contravening Section 20 of the Firearms & Ammunition Ordinance, possession of an offensive weapon, contravening Section 17 of the Summary Offences Ordinance and possession of apparatus for radiocommunications without licence, contravening Section 8 of the Telecommunications Ordinance. Police conducted searches at the arrestees' residences with court warrants and seized some electronic communication devices which authorities say were used to publish seditious messages, a computer, military knives and an imitation firearm. The two arrested men are being detained for further enquiries.
Hong Kong’s unique position under “one country, two systems”, coupled with our country’s full support and trust, has helped sustain our steady growth in every aspect since our return to the motherland. As we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, I would like to invite you all to a journey through the law, a TV programme produced by the Department of Justice which will be aired tomorrow, to review the achievements that we have made in the promotion of our rule of law and development of our legal, deal-making and dispute resolution strengths over the years. I would also like to take this opportunity to share with you our accomplishments in promoting international law and enhancing co-operation with international organisations. With the unwavering support of our country, the Hong Kong SAR has been actively participating in the work of international organisations since July 1, 1997. Legal systems in countries around the world generally fall into one of the two main categories: common law system or civil law system. China has the advantage of having both of them. Being the only common law jurisdiction in our country, Hong Kong can offer advice from the perspective of the common law system, helping to form a more holistic view for the country’s participation in the development of international law. As one of the national team players, we strive to contribute to our country’s active and effective participation in the formulation of international rules in major international issues. Since the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR, we have been taking part in the Friends of the Chair group on Strengthening Economic & Legal Infrastructure under the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Committee in the capacity of Hong Kong, China. In September 2019, the department’s Commissioner of the Inclusive Dispute Avoidance and Resolution (IDAR) Office was appointed as the Chair of the APEC Economic Committee to promote structural reform and strengthen APEC’s capability in the analysis of long-term macroeconomic trends and studies of microeconomic issues. Nurturing legal talents through training is the department’s policy objective whilst secondment to international organisations is one of our key initiatives to accomplish that objective. With the full support from our country, the department has achieved remarkable results in concluding secondment arrangements with three major international organisations, namely the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH), the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Legal practitioners from the private sector are also able to join the secondment to the HCCH and the UNIDROIT. The secondment helps nurture legal talents by developing their global perspective and proficiency in international regulations and also instilling in them a sense of national identity and an affection for Hong Kong. Through participating in the work of international conventions, they can personally experience the evolution of international law. The AALCO Hong Kong Regional Arbitration Centre has already been established whilst the HCCH and the department’s Project Office for Collaboration with UNCITRAL have set up offices in the Hong Kong Legal Hub. The UNIDROIT is also planning to establish its office here in the near future. These three international organisations have been playing a leading role in private international law. Their presence in Hong Kong facilitates more exchanges and provides opportunity for legal practitioners to develop their expertise in this area of law. This also further strengthens Hong Kong’s status as an international legal and dispute resolution centre. Article 13 (1) of the Basic Law expressly provides that the Central People’s Government shall be responsible for the foreign affairs relating to the Hong Kong SAR. Whilst matters concerning foreign affairs fall squarely within the purview of the Central Authorities, the Hong Kong SAR has been authorised to conduct relevant external affairs on its own in accordance with the Basic Law under this context. The Hong Kong SAR must obtain the approval of the Central People’s Government to conclude agreements with foreign states and regions. Since July 1, 1997, the Hong Kong SAR has, in accordance with the powers granted by the Central Authorities and the Basic Law, entered into more than 600 bilateral agreements and arrangements with the Mainland and other jurisdictions covering free trade, taxation, investment promotion and protection, civil aviation and mutual legal assistance, reinforcing our status internationally and facilitating the growth of our legal industry. In the past four years, I am honoured to be appointed as the Secretary for Justice and have the privilege of working with an excellent team, serving the community together without fear or favour. Over the years, I am grateful for the trust and support of our country, allowing us to conclude ground-breaking arrangements with the Mainland and co-operations with legal departments of various jurisdictions as well as international organisations. I was also deeply moved by the unfailing care from the Central Government after I was attacked in London. With the strong backing from our country, I have every confidence that we can overcome all the challenges in building a bright future. In less than a week, the new Secretary and his deputy will take office, I wish them the very best in the journey of upholding the rule of law and leveraging on the advantages under “one country, two systems” with the legal sector in contributing to the stability and prosperity of our country and our city. Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng wrote this article and posted it on her blog on June 25.
Police have arrested over 1,800 people and seized dangerous drugs and illicit goods worth more than $100 million during an anti-crime operation by Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macau authorities. The intelligence-led enforcement exercise codenamed THUNDERBOLT 2022, which began on May 20, aims to curb the illegal activities of triad societies and organised crime syndicates, neutralising cross-boundary crimes, and interdicting the criminals’ source of income. Police, together with the Immigration, Customs & Excise, Fire Services and Food & Environmental Hygiene departments, conducted searches at 2,548 locations including bars, amusement game centres, cyber cafes, party rooms and residential units during the operation. As at last Friday, 1,837 people aged 11 to 90 were arrested, 73 were from the Mainland and 119 were non-ethnic Chinese. The suspects were arrested for triad-related offences and drug offences, wounding, criminal damage, blackmail, possession of offensive weapons, operating an illegal gambling establishment and operating a vice establishment. Dangerous drugs and psychotropic drugs worth around $80 million, including cannabis, ketamine, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and midazolam were also seized. As THUNDERBOLT 2022 is ongoing, citizens are encouraged to come forward with intelligence regarding triad societies and organised crime syndicates, the force added.
Police’s National Security Department today arrested two men, aged 28 and 30, in Wong Tai Sin and Yuen Long, for doing an act or acts with seditious intention, contravening Section 9 and 10 of the Crimes Ordinance. Investigations revealed that the pair were suspected of publishing posts on social platforms to disseminate seditious messages that promote feelings of ill-will and enmity between different classes of the Hong Kong population and incite the use of violence. Police also seized some electronic communication devices used to publish seditious messages at both men’s residences when conducting searches there with a court warrant. The department laid holding charges against the two men, each with one count of doing an act or acts with seditious intention in the evening. The case will be mentioned at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow morning.
The Immigration Department today introduced the Online Assistance Request Form service for Hong Kong residents outside Hong Kong to seek assistance from its Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit (AHU). Hong Kong residents can download the Hong Kong Immigration Department mobile app for free from the Apple App Store, Google Play or Huawei AppGallery. To access the form in the app, tap "Contact the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit" under "Popular Services" on the main page, then tap "Submit Assistance Request Form". Hong Kong residents in distress outside Hong Kong may also choose to access the form via the department’s homepage or scanning the QR code. The department said the AHU will contact the Hong Kong residents in distress as soon as possible to render practicable assistance after receiving the form. Other ways for Hong Kong residents in distress outside of Hong Kong to contact the AHU for assistance include calling (852) 1868 and calling the 1868 hotline using network data via the department’s mobile app network data call function.
The Judiciary today launched a three-month public consultation on the draft Courts (Remote Hearing) Bill and the related Practice Directions and Operational Guidelines. At present, owing to legal impediments, most criminal cases cannot be heard remotely, while for civil proceedings, there are no express provisions setting out how matters pertinent to a remote hearing shall be handled. The bill seeks to provide a comprehensive legal framework concerning the application, operation and effect of remote hearings for court proceedings in Hong Kong. It also provides a clear legal basis for judges and judicial officers to order remote hearings at various levels of courts and tribunals where appropriate, having regard to all relevant factors, as well as the dual requirements of open justice and fair hearing. Major features of the bill include details of the making of a remote hearing order; operation and legal effect of remote hearings; safeguards for open justice in remote hearings; and proposed new offences for the recording and publishing of remote and physical court hearings, as well as the broadcast of such hearings. Legal professionals, interested parties and members of the public are invited to offer their views by September 15. Click here for the consultation document. 
Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng today visited senior citizens living in Eastern District and gave out gift packs in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. After attending the launch ceremony of home visits under the Celebrations for All project in Eastern District at North Point Community Hall, Ms Cheng called on an elderly citizen living alone at Oi Tung Estate in Shau Kei Wan and an elderly doubleton household in Quarry Bay. She said: “This year marks the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to our motherland, signifying the important milestone of the implementation of the Basic Law and ‘one country, two systems’ in the Hong Kong SAR for a quarter of a century. “I hope to extend my warm regards to the elderly during the visits and also share with them the happiness of the anniversary.” The Celebrations for All project is one of the major events to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR. With funding from the Jockey Club Charities Trust, the project has been implemented by district offices together with non-governmental organisations and community bodies in the districts to spread the joy of the anniversary to the underprivileged.
The Department of Justice said the 2022 GBA Legal Professional Examination was successfully held in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Zhuhai today. Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng noted that through the examination, more Hong Kong legal practitioners familiar with the laws of both the city and the Greater Bay Area will be available to provide professional services for the development of the bay area. It enables them to have in-depth participation in building up the rule of law in the bay area, thereby achieving a win-win outcome, she added. Ms Cheng expressed gratitude to the central government and the Ministry of Justice for their full support for organising the GBA Exam and the setting up of the examination venue in Hong Kong, providing invaluable opportunities to its legal practitioners. The GBA Exam, first held last year, is a liberalisation measure under the Agreement on Trade in Services to the Mainland & Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement. After passing the examination and obtaining the relevant practice certificate, Hong Kong legal practitioners including solicitors and barristers with five years’ accumulated legal practice experience or above can provide legal services in the nine Mainland municipalities in the bay area on specified civil and commercial legal matters to which the Mainland laws apply, the department said. These legal practitioners will also enjoy the same privileges and be under the same obligations as Mainland lawyers. In the aforesaid nine Mainland municipalities, they can be retained by Mainland law firms and partnership associations of Mainland law firms and Hong Kong or Macao law firms, and can also become partners of partnership law firms, it added.
Police will launch a new reporting hotline 63-666-999 tomorrow to encourage the public to provide intelligence on terrorism or violence related crimes. The launch of the Counter-terrorism (CT) Reporting Hotline also aims to promote the Spot & Report campaign. After the National Security Law took effect in mid-2020, law and order in the city has generally stabilised, but Police say that activities of local extremists have gone underground and become more covert.        Because of this, Police have upgraded its Anti-violence Hotline, launched during the outbreak of the riots in 2019, to the CT Reporting Hotline. It will be managed by the Inter-departmental CT Unit to enhance the synergistic benefits of intelligence across departments. The new hotline number is easier to remember, and its first stage will include SMS and WeChat reporting features. Apart from violent acts, the public may also report suspected terrorism-related activities around them, in particular extremist plots, via this upgraded hotline.  Additionally, to encourage citizens to make reports, Police are planning reward those who provide reliable terrorism-related information. Regardless of the means of reporting, if the information provided by the public is of crucial assistance to the detection of terrorism-related crimes, the ICTU will, upon completion of prosecution of offences, assess and determine the reward amount under a stringent mechanism. Police appeal to the public to make reports without delay should they spot any suspected terrorism-related activities or incidents around them. This hotline is not for general police reporting which may be made by calling a nearby police station or 999.