Article 23 task force commended

June 18, 2024

The Task Force on Basic Law Article 23 Legislation comprising the Department of Justice, the Security Bureau and the Hong Kong Police Force has been awarded in a new round of the Chief Executive's Award for Exemplary Performance.


The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance was unanimously passed by the Legislative Council on March 19 this year and took effect on March 23.


The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region accomplished the legislation for Article 23 of the Basic Law, fulfilling the constitutional responsibility and historic mission that the city had been waiting 26 years, eight months and 19 days for.


The task force held nearly 30 consultation sessions to provide detailed briefings to various sectors of the community during the one-month public consultation period. It took less than a week to conduct a comprehensive analysis on over 13,000 submissions received, and introduced the finalised bill to LegCo for scrutiny nine days after the consultation period concluded.


During the Bills Committee's scrutiny, the task force gave detailed replies to more than 1,000 questions raised by LegCo members, and proposed 91 amendments after listening to and studying their views.


In the face of malicious attacks and smears on Basic Law Article 23 legislation by external forces, the task force was capable of delivering prompt and cogent refutation every time to prevent the public from being misled by unfounded remarks.


Chief Executive John Lee said the task force's exemplary performance in legislating for Article 23 is highly commendable, adding that it has worked tirelessly to accomplish the glorious historic mission for Hong Kong.


“The efficiency, professionalism and determination of this cross-departmental task force provided important contributions to a glorious chapter in Hong Kong history. The task force demonstrates an outstanding example for the civil service and truly deserves the award.”


Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung also extended congratulations to the task force.


Mrs Yeung noted the task force's relentless hard work and concerted efforts in completing the historic mission of legislating for Article 23 in a highly efficient and expeditious manner demonstrates the civil service's unwavering courage and determination to safeguard national security without fear of challenges, and that the task force is an outstanding example worthy of emulation by civil service colleagues.


Task force representative and then Deputy Secretary for Security Apollonia Liu expressed her deep honour and gratitude for the task force receiving the Chief Executive's Award for Exemplary Performance.


Mrs Liu pointed out that the Department of Justice, the Security Bureau and Police have all along been co-operating well in their respective roles and responsibilities in safeguarding national security.


“The smooth completion of legislating for Article 23 by the team hinged on the leadership of the Chief Executive and the support of the central authorities, the high quality and very efficient scrutiny by LegCo, the full co-operation of relevant government departments and the support from various sectors of the community and members of the public who love the country and Hong Kong.”

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