Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu speaks to members of the media after the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress adopted an interpretation of provisions of the National Security Law for Hong Kong at the Central Government Offices on Dec 30, 2022. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said on Friday that the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the HKSAR government will make full efforts to implement the interpretation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong made by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
Earlier in the day, the NPCSC adopted an interpretation of Article 14 and Article 47 of the National Security Law, which clarified the role of the Committee for Safeguarding Security of the Hong Kong SAR and the chief executive and a legal basis for handling new situations in regard to safeguarding national security in Hong Kong.
Lee said the city’s national security committee will decide whether overseas lawyers who are not fully qualified to practice in the SAR can handle national security cases and what policies should be adopted to solve the issue
In a Friday statement, Lee said the city’s national security committee will decide whether overseas lawyers who are not fully qualified to practice in the SAR can handle national security cases and what policies should be adopted to solve the issue. The government will also consider amending the Legal Practitioners Ordinance to facilitate the security law’s implementation.
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The NPCSC’s interpretation clarifies the legislative intent of the National Security Law and establishes principles for its implementation, which is of great significance to further improve the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security in the SAR, Lee said.
He told reporters in a subsequent news conference (transcript of CE's Q&A) that the government will fulfill its constitutional responsibilities under Article 23 of the Basic Law and Article 7 of the NSL, which stipulates that the HKSAR shall complete local legislation for safeguarding national security as soon as possible.
Lee added that the NPC is the supreme organ of state power, and its standing committee’s interpretation of the law has the highest authority and serves as a binding force.
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Separately, the city’s Judiciary said that it respects the lawful exercise of power by the NPCSC to make the interpretations. It said it will continue to effectively prevent, suppress and impose a punishment for any act or activity endangering national security in accordance with the law, and will impartially perform its judicial functions and handle cases involving national security accordingly. All lawmakers of the seventh Hong Kong Legislative Council issued a joint declaration to welcome the move.