Article 23 bill to be gazetted

March 7, 2024

The Chief Executive in Council today approved the gazettal, tomorrow, of the Safeguarding National Security Bill, and its introduction into the Legislative Council.

The Security Bureau said approval of the bill will allow the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to implement its constitutional duty and ensure the effective safeguarding of national security as early as possible.

It stressed that this duty is stipulated under Article 23 of the Basic Law, the Decision of the National People’s Congress on Establishing & Improving the Legal System & Enforcement Mechanisms for the Hong Kong SAR to Safeguard National Security, and the National Security Law.

Chief Executive John Lee said he had written to LegCo's president, explaining that the Basic Law Article 23 legislation is a constitutional responsibility of the entire Hong Kong SAR, and that both the Government and the council must spare no effort enacting it as soon as possible.

“In order to achieve the goal of completing the legislative work as early as possible, I have suggested LegCo speedily commence the scrutiny of the bill and consider such means as convening a special LegCo meeting for the first and second reading, and convening Bills Committee meetings as early as possible, with a view to scrutinising the bill and completing the legislative process at full speed.

“The Hong Kong SAR has to enact the Basic Law Article 23 legislation as soon as possible – the earlier the better. Completing the legislative work even one day earlier means we can more effectively safeguard national security one day earlier.

“The Hong Kong SAR can then focus its efforts on developing the economy, improving people’s livelihood and maintaining the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.”

The Hong Kong SAR Government conducted a public consultation on the Basic Law Article 23 legislation from January 30 to February 28. Of those who responded, 98.6% indicated support for the legislation and made positive comments. 

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