Speech at Panel on Security

Issues relating to the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019

Human rights and procedural safeguards under the proposed special surrender arrangements

In view of the wide public concern about CE’s gatekeeping power, Mr CHAN Chun-ying asked whether consideration had been given to activating SSAs by the Chief Executive in Council. S for S explained that the activation procedure was only a process to kick-off the whole procedure. He stressed that reference had been drawn from foreign countries in devising such arrangements, and highlighted that any decisions made by CE would be subject to appeal and judicial review (“JR”).

Public views on the Bill

Mr CHAN Chun-ying suggested SB to design promotional leaflets to explain the Bill in laymen terms so as to ease public concerns. Noting that there were wrong messages about the Bill in the community.

S for S said that the Administration had been working hard to provide explanations on various occasions for enhancing the understanding of the contents of the Bill among different stakeholders and members of the public. It would also strive to take forward the relevant publicity work.

Given that only very few grey areas existed in banking rules and regulations, Mr CHAN Chun-ying said that the relevant sector did not have much worry that their previous acts would be subject to surrender. Besides, they were aware that SFO was an international practice to fight organized and cross-boundary crimes. Instead, they appealed to the Administration to guarantee that the proposed legislative amendments and the additional safeguards would remain unchanged in the future. S for S reiterated that the Bill would not change any existing human rights and procedural safeguards of the current Ordinance.

Other issues

Mr CHAN Chun-ying sought details about the introduction of an “observer scheme” to protect the rights of surrendered persons proposed by SJ earlier. S for S said that the Administration would negotiate the issue of post-surrender visits on a case-by-case basis, so as to arrange visits via appropriate means, including visits by consuls and officials, or other special cooperation arrangements.