Fugitive bill to be further clarified

June 10, 2019

The Government will further explain the fugitive bill to allay residents' concerns, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said today.


Responding to yesterday’s protest against the bill, Mrs Lam told reporters this morning that she understands that many march participants expressed worries, concerns and anxieties about the proposed law change.


Mrs Lam said the Government will focus on explaining the additional safeguards that were introduced on May 30.


“We realise that our communication and explanation work has to continue, whether throughout the Legislative Council scrutiny process or even after the enactment of the bill, because this is a very important piece of legislation that will help to uphold justice and also ensure that Hong Kong will fulfil her international obligation in terms of cross-boundary and transnational crimes.”


She said the additional human rights safeguards will have a legal binding effect and the Government will only surrender a fugitive when guarantees are fully met.


“We will make sure that all these additional safeguards, and there is a long list of those additional safeguards which resemble very closely the international standards and the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights) minimum guarantees, they will have a legal binding effect on the Government because we will put them into a very solemn policy statement to be delivered by the Secretary for Security when the bill resumes its second reading in the LegCo.”


The Chief Executive also noted that political parties have suggested the Government should provide regular reports to the LegCo about the implementation of the case-by-case surrender arrangement if the bill is passed.


The reports would cover the jurisdictions involved, the nature of the cases, and whether human rights and procedural safeguards are being fully implemented.


In the long run, the Government hopes to enter into long-term agreements on the surrender of fugitive offenders with as many jurisdictions as possible, she added.


“We should increase these bilateral agreements as far as possible, so I will accord priority to this area of work and will immediately enhance the staff resources in the Security Bureau and the Department of Justice to enable them to catch up on the work and to start the negotiations on these long-term agreements, including negotiations with the Mainland of China, Taiwan and Macau.”


Mrs Lam thanked citizens who expressed views on the bill and said their concern and scrutiny of the Government’s work is vital in enhancing good governance in Hong Kong.

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