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GBA rule of law action plan released

The Action Plan on the Construction of Rule of Law in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has been released, the Department of Justice (DoJ) announced today.   Secretary for Justice Paul Lam explained that the action plan has two intentions, namely to underpin the guiding principle of “Three Interfaces, Two Connects & One Greater Bay Area”, and strengthen collaboration with the legal and dispute resolution sectors and other stakeholders to effectively implement policy measures set out in the plan.   Through mechanisms, regulatory frameworks and talent – the “three interfaces” – the DoJ said it will promote hardware and software connectivity in constructing rule of law in the bay area, co-operation between the various cities according to their respective strengths, and collaboration between different legal systems, thereby eventually achieving the goal of “one Greater Bay Area”.   Deputy Secretary for Justice Cheung Kwok-kwan, who is also the leading Hong Kong

Govt objects to foreign interference

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today said it strongly opposed the sending of a letter by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China to the UK Prime Minister which interferes in the Hong Kong SAR's judicial proceedings in a court case involving Lai Chee-ying.   The Hong Kong SAR Government also vehemently condemned the US politicians' attempt to procure the imposition of so-called “sanctions” on judicial officers and prosecutors who have been discharging their duties of administration of justice independently and impartially.   It also strongly objects to the purely politically oriented remarks of the US politicians.   The Hong Kong SAR Government noted that making a statement with the intent to interfere with or obstruct the course of justice, or engaging in conduct with the same intent, may even constitute the offence of criminal contempt of court or the offence of perverting the course of justice.   Pursuant to Article 63 of the Basic Law, the Department of Justice controls criminal prosecutions, free from any interference. The prosecutors act strictly in accordance with a longstanding international practice that the decision to prosecute will only take into consideration the applicable laws and the admissible evidence to justify instituting proceedings.   Cases will never be handled any differently owing to the political beliefs or backgrounds of the people involved.   The Hong Kong SAR Government stressed that Hong Kong is a society underpinned by the rule of law and has always adhered to the principle that laws must be obeyed and lawbreakers held accountable. Hong Kong's judicial system has always been highly regarded by international communities.   Article 85 of the Basic Law clearly stipulates that the Judiciary shall exercise judicial power independently in accordance with the law, free from any interference.   As guaranteed by the Basic Law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights, everyone charged with a criminal offence has the right to a fair hearing.   It said: “Safeguarding national security falls within the internal affairs of a sovereign jurisdiction, and hence the implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law in the Hong Kong SAR should be free from any form of interference.   “The US politicians' arbitrary and unreasonable bullying act has seriously violated international norms and grossly interfered in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs at large.   “It is a blatant attempt to undermine the rule of law of Hong Kong and will only expose their own weakness and be doomed to fail.”
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