【文章】解決逃犯問題更有效的方法

2019-04-26 | 信報財經新聞
A25 | 時事評論 | 專業議政

特區政府提出《2019年逃犯及刑事事宜相互法律協助法例(修訂)條例草案》,修訂《逃犯條例》和《刑事事宜相互法律協助條例》。最初和最重要的理據,是要處理2018年在台灣發生的一名香港男子殺害一名香港女子後逃回香港的案件。由於香港與台灣之間沒有簽訂任何移交逃犯或刑事互助的協議,故須修訂上述法例,設立新機制把該男子移交台灣接受刑事調查和審訊。

《刑事罪行條例》第153P條

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【文章】以謊言硬銷《逃犯條例》

2019-04-16 | 信報財經新聞
A16 | 時事評論 | 專業議政

當公眾質疑修訂《逃犯條例》,容許特區政府把身處香港的本地居民和外國人送往法治水平低落的中國受審時,特區政府提出的其中一個所謂「理據」,是不少國家都已經與中國簽訂長期移交逃犯協議,當中更包括法國、葡萄牙和西班牙這些重視人權的國家,證明她們對中國的司法制度有信心,香港人也可以毋須擔心。

不過,這是事實的全部嗎?

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Dennis Kwok eNewsletter APR 2019

Legal Aid Expansion

In this year’s Budget, we have finally seen a substantial increase in the annual budget for the Legal Aid Department which will be to the tune of an additional HK$117.5 million per year (i.e. +11.8%). These additional resources will be used to improve the efficiency of the Legal Aid Department which will hopefully address some of the long standing problems such as delay in payments to solicitors/counsel, and delay in approving legal aid applications. I have been working on this issue since I took office 7 years ago, and I will closely monitor the usage of these additional resources going forward.

On 25 Feb, I held a meeting with the Chief Secretary of HKSAR, together with the Chairman of the Bar and the President of the Law Society, to discuss ways to expand the scope of legal aid system so that more Hong Kong people could fall within its coverage. We have jointly presented proposals to the Administration, and are awaiting their response.

Extradition to PRC

I am sure most of you have followed the latest proposal by the HKSAR Government to allow extradition of HK citizens and foreign nationals to the PRC to face criminal trials. This proposal is deeply irresponsible and brings about a significant damage to our autonomy under ‘One Country, Two Systems.’

In the past month or so, I have reached out to numerous chambers of commerce, bar associations and foreign governments representatives to warn them about the serious implications of these proposals once implemented. During my recent trip to the United States, I met with officials at the White House and the State Department, and members of the U.S. Congress. The meetings all centred around the extradition issue and the state of ‘One Country, Two Systems.’ It is clear that the maintenance of the US-HK Policy Act, which is of vital importance to HK as an international city, is now on red alert due to recent developments. The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China has issued a recent statement warning against the extradition proposals (click here).

【文章】先天不足的一手樓空置稅

2019-04-08 | 信報財經新聞
A17 | 時事評論 | 專業議政

筆者一直積極倡議政府應該向發展商徵收「一手樓空置稅」(下稱「空置稅」)。自行政長官林鄭月娥在9個多月前宣布會開徵此稅後,上星期特區政府終於向立法會提交立法建議,向空置的一手私人住宅單位徵收應課差餉租值兩倍的「額外差餉」。

筆者倡議這個政策的目標只有一個,就是希望發展商不要待價而沽,刻意扣起單位,透過控制供應而推高樓價。惟觀乎政府的立法建議,方向雖然與目標一致,力度卻嫌不足,令人擔心不足以驅使發展商盡快推售單位。

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