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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 condemns news report

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today strongly disapproved of and condemned a Bloomberg news report on the Basic Law Article 23 legislation for generating misunderstanding and panic regarding the legislative proposals.


The headlines: "HK says Telegram should be prohibited in Article 23 proposal" and "HK says Signal should be prohibited in Article 23 proposal", and its report headlined "HK Security Law Public Consultation Lists Facebook, YouTube Ban", falsely reported that the Hong Kong SAR Government would legislate to ban the operation of the relevant platforms in Hong Kong,


In a statement, the Hong Kong SAR Government solemnly stated that it has not proposed to ban the operation of any social media, video sharing or streaming platforms in the city.


The annex to the relevant Legislative Council document covers a summary of written submissions received during the public consultation period by the Hong Kong SAR Government, spanning 75 pages.


The statement noted that the report in question one-sidedly handpicked three entries of submissions received among all others and completed it with a biased headline, attempting to mislead the international community and the public in believing the Hong Kong SAR Government is going to accept such views or prohibit the relevant platforms from operating in the city.


Its intention is indeed suspicious, the statement said, adding that the fake news published by Bloomberg has undermined its trustworthiness and credibility. Bloomberg should ensure future reports concerning the Basic Law Article 23 legislation is fair and just to avoid any further misunderstanding by its readers.


As repeatedly stressed by the Hong Kong SAR Government, the Basic Law, and the relevant provisions on safeguarding rights and freedoms of individuals in the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, including those on the freedom of speech, will also apply to the proposed local legislation on safeguarding national security.


Article 4 of the National Security Law clearly stipulates that human rights shall be respected and protected while safeguarding national security in the city. During the legislation, the Hong Kong SAR Government will adhere to the relevant international standards in safeguarding human rights and freedoms.


It will also make due reference to the views received during the public consultation and strive to finalise the Safeguarding National Security Bill as soon as possible for introduction to the Legislative Council, the statement noted.

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