Press Releases in Hong Kong

HK justice chief: Need to be vigilant about judicial reform

Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah speaks at the International Criminal Law Conference under Hong Kong Legal Week 2021 in Hong Kong on Nov 2, 2021. (PHOTO / INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT, HKSAR)

Hong Kong’s secretary for justice, Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, on Tuesday underlined the need for changes and reform to ensure the efficiency of the city’s criminal justice system.

“In today's ever-changing society, technological advances are accelerating in many areas. Therefore, in addition to keeping our core values intact, we must remain vigilant of the need for changes and reform to ensure that our criminal justice system remains fair and effective,” she said at the International Criminal Law Conference under Hong Kong Legal Week 2021, which runs Nov 1-5.

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To this end, the conference provides a platform for exchanges, to examine experience from other jurisdictions and to review Hong Kong’s own practices with a view to enhancing the development of the criminal justice system, said Cheng.

Our prosecutors act independently without fear or favor, and free from political interference or undue influence.

Teresa Cheng, Secretary for Justice, Hong Kong

“Hong Kong is a society and an economy premised on the rule of law,” she told those in the audience.

In this regard, the Department of Justice enjoys independence which is constitutionally guaranteed. Article 63 of the Basic Law stipulates that the department "shall control criminal prosecutions, free from any interference”, she said. 

“Our prosecutors act independently without fear or favor, and free from political interference or undue influence.”

Hong Kong's judicial independence is premised on the solid infrastructure that has been laid down in the Basic Law, including the security of tenure, the immunity of judges, and importantly the express provision in Article 85 of the Basic Law that guarantees judicial independence, free from any interference, said the justice chief

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Four topics up for discussion during the conference on Tuesday are: "Human rights considerations in the criminal law context", “Sentencing offenders: maintaining public confidence in criminal justice”, “Combating corruption in the Mainland and Hong Kong”, and “Crowdfunding or crime-funding?”