Cross-boundary crime rules explained

September 15, 2020

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government adheres to key principles in dealing with cross-border or cross-boundary crimes.


Chief Executive Carrie Lam made the remarks ahead of today’s Executive Council meeting in response to media queries about the 12 Hong Kong people who are being detained on the Mainland.


Mrs Lam said Hong Kong residents have to accept their legal liabilities and pointed out that since the suspected offenders were caught on the Mainland for breaching a Mainland law, they will be subject to Mainland law enforcement rules.


“The first principle is every individual, every Hong Kong resident has to accept their own responsibility. If they go into another jurisdiction and breach the law - and in this case, they were suspected to have illegally entered the Mainland - then they have to accept the legal liabilities.


“So when you use the term ‘legal rights’, yes, every person should have their legal rights by law, but they should also accept their legal liabilities.


“The second principle is - actually it’s a well recognised legal principle around the world - that each jurisdiction shall handle any illegal acts in accordance with its laws. Since these suspected offenders were caught in the Mainland for breaching a Mainland law, then of course they will be subject to the Mainland jurisdiction and the law enforcement rules thereat.”


The third principle is that regardless of the person’s background, the Hong Kong SAR Government will provide needed and feasible assistance to every resident who is suspected of breaching the law outside the city, Mrs Lam said.


“We are following this principle by contacting the relatives of the arrested and providing the needed assistance through our Immigration Department, as well as our Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office in Guangdong.”


She pointed out that one of the 12 suspects detained on the Mainland has allegedly committed an offence under the National Security Law, while the other 11 have committed serious offences under the Crimes Ordinance, such as arson, possessing or making explosives.


“The Government will have to take this very seriously in following up the case after these cases have been handled in the Mainland according to the Mainland laws.”

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