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Co-location prevents uncertainties

July 29, 2017

Secretary for Security John Lee says the co-location plan for the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link can prevent legal uncertainties.


Speaking to the media today, Mr Lee said adopting only Mainland laws in the Hong Kong Section's West Kowloon Station Mainland Port Area can help prevent the problem of overlapping jurisdiction.


"If the exit control of the Mainland is done in Hong Kong and they (the Mainland officers) are only limited to certain powers, that will mean some Hong Kong laws would have to apply at the same location so as to ensure there is no legal vacuum. In doing so, it will result in overlapping jurisdiction."


Under the plan announced recently, Mainland arrival clearance is conducted immediately after departure from Hong Kong and vice-versa, allowing passengers to complete both Hong Kong and Mainland clearance procedures in one go at West Kowloon Station.


Mr Lee said the scenario of overlapping jurisdiction will create a lot of uncertainties.


"If a traveller wants to challenge the legal action by either government, he can take the case to court, because there is overlapping jurisdiction. Then he may go to a Hong Kong court for hearing. That will, first of all, create a lot of uncertainties regarding particularly criminals who want to escape from the Mainland to come to Hong Kong. 


"It will create the uncertainty of time as well, because the legal challenge can take a long time to resolve.


"In the event of positive challenge, that means we will be handling in Hong Kong a criminal who may have committed a very serious crime which the Mainland does not want him to leave. At the same time, as he hasn’t committed a Hong Kong offence, we can't arrest him either (because) there is no surrender of fugitive agreement between the two places. We will be stuck and the criminal will be stranded in Hong Kong."