An update on the comprehensive review of the strategy of handling non-refoulement claims
Provision of publicly-funded legal assistance
Mr CHAN Chun-ying also expressed concern about the adequacy of manpower in DLS for providing relevant administrative support.
US for S responded that discussion with DLS on increasing its manpower needs was ongoing and experience indicated that the discussion might take some months. He said that the capacity of DLS in supporting the provision of PFLA to claimants was one of the bottlenecks in the processing of non-refoulement claims. The Administration planned to implement a new supplementary roster scheme, under which cases would be assigned to lawyers on the roster directly, in parallel with the existing DLS scheme to expedite the screening of claims. Upon completing each case, participating lawyers would be remunerated with a standard legal fee instead of remunerated at time rates.
Noting that most non-refoulement claimants were male and aged under 40, Mr CHAN Chun-ying asked whether these claimants would be arranged to perform voluntary work.
US for S responded that the issue could be explored, but it should be noted that it was unlawful for claimants to take up employment in Hong Kong.
Preventing and tackling terrorist activities
Mr CHAN Chun-ying said that it was important for the Administration to educate the public on how to react in terrorist attacks and major dangerous incidents. Referring to paragraph 11 of the Administration’s paper, he asked whether the 15 major exercises scheduled by the MTR Corporation Limited in 2017 included CT exercises. He also asked whether CT and major incident contingency exercises would also be conducted with other modes of public transport.
US for S responded that the participation of operators of different modes of public transport was one of the key elements of CT and major incident contingency exercises. He said that a recent large-scale CT exercise codenamed Windgate coordinated by the Security Bureau had been participated by approximately 40 government departments and organizations whereas some other exercises involved airline companies, power plant, ship dockyard, school and water treatment plant. ACP(Ops) said that the 15 major exercises scheduled by the MTR Corporation Limited for this year included CT exercises, which would be participated by the Police’s counter terrorism units and the Fire Services Department, and major incident contingency exercises.