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DC reform meetings held

The Government held exchange meetings on the theme of improving the district governance system and reforming the District Councils (DCs) at the Central Government Offices today.   Over 80 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) and Hong Kong SAR members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) were there to exchange views on improving the district governance system and supporting the District Council election.   Chief Executive John Lee noted that it is the first major citywide election after improving the district governance system and reforming the DCs, and is of particular significance.   He said it also marks the final mile for the full implementation of the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” in the district governance structure.   The Chief Executive also noted that the election is of great significance to the good governance and the long-term st

Rule of law explained to teachers

Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng today spoke at a training course given to more than 100 teachers on the proper concepts of the rule of law and Hong Kong's legal system.   In her talk on how the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region consolidates the upholding of the rule of law in society, she introduced the basic principles of statutory law and common law in Hong Kong’s legal system, the spirit of the rule of law and the importance of judicial independence.   Highlighting the spirit of the rule of law, in particular equality before the law, Ms Cheng stressed that it is expressly set out in Article 25 of the Basic Law, adding that it is essential to correctly understand the Constitution in the hierarchical order of laws applied in Hong Kong.   She also said that premised on the solid infrastructure laid down in the Basic Law, judicial independence includes the security of tenure, the immunity of judges, and the express provision in Article 85 of the Basic Law that guarantees judicial independence, free from any interference.   In addition, Hong Kong’s appellate system ensures that justice is properly administered and due process is observed.   Ms Cheng explained to the teachers that Hong Kong laws respect and protect the rights and freedoms as provided for under the Basic Law. However, such rights and freedoms are not absolute and may be subject to restrictions which are in the interests of public order and the protection of other people’s rights and freedoms.   Since its return to the motherland, Hong Kong has been making progress in international rankings on rule of law, the justice chief noted.   According to the World Bank Group’s Worldwide Governance Indicators project, Hong Kong’s percentile rank in respect of the rule of law was 69.85 in 1996.   With the full implementation of “one country, two systems” and safeguards provided for by the Basic Law after the return to the motherland, Hong Kong’s score reached 74.75 in 2000 and has been consistently above 90 since 2003.   Ms Cheng added that strengthening the rule of law is one of the initiatives in the 2021 Policy Address. As a result, the Department of Justice will continue to launch Vision 2030 for Rule of Law to promote the proper concept of the rule of law in order to enhance law-abiding awareness among the youth.

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