Human rights guaranteed: CE

June 11, 2019

The Government would require any party making a fugitive request to guarantee a set of human rights protections before the Chief Executive decides to activate the surrender process.


Speaking to the media ahead of today’s Executive Council meeting, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the Government decided to make further amendments to the proposed extradition law change after attentively listening to public views.


Noting the first step for such a request requires the Chief Executive to trigger the process, Mrs Lam said the additional amendment which safeguards human rights is crucial.


“Before the Chief Executive triggers that process, that is, to accept the requesting party’s request to surrender a fugitive offender, we will require the requesting party to undertake, to guarantee a long list of human rights protections.


“And these human rights protections resemble very closely to the international standards and the guarantees under the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights).


“So this is a very practical package that has struck the necessary balance between the protection of human rights, the allaying of public anxieties and concerns and also the objective.”


International obligation

It is a very important objective and the city’s commitment to the global community to ensure that Hong Kong does not become a haven for fugitives, Mrs Lam pointed out.


Apart from the human rights safeguards, there is an additional measure that states the Chief Executive will have the final authority on whether or not to surrender a fugitive if the court agrees to do so, she said.


“When the court agrees to surrender, then the Chief Executive could still be the gatekeeper of deciding not to surrender a fugitive offender taking into account several factors - the changing circumstances, the humanitarian grounds and so on.


"That is the moment that the Chief Executive could still re-examine the whole case and the changing circumstances to decide."


However, if the court decides not to surrender a fugitive, the Chief Executive could not overrule its decision, Mrs Lam said, adding the Chief Executive is not above the law.


When asked about radical actions against the fugitive bill, Mrs Lam called on the public to thoroughly consider whether such actions would be good for the society and young people.

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