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Bay area exam creates opportunities

I am delighted to learn that the inaugural Greater Bay Area Legal Professional Examination was held successfully in Hong Kong today. I am truly grateful to the Ministry of Justice for its policy on implementing the Greater Area Bay exam and related training, and its dedicated efforts all along.   The bay area exam, originally scheduled to be held earlier this year, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ministry then decided to set up new examination venues in Hong Kong in addition to those in Shenzhen and Zhuhai, and signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Justice for the department to co-ordinate with the Hong Kong Examinations & Assessment Authority to handle examination-related work. Such arrangement has brought great convenience to Hong Kong candidates.   Thanks to the ministry’s staunch support all along, the bay area exam was set up in response to the suggestions and aspirations of the Hong Kong legal sector. It will no doubt provide an exten

CE explains legislative priorities

Legislating against people who insult public officials is not the Government’s highest priority, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said today.   Speaking ahead of this morning’s Executive Council meeting, Mrs Lam pointed out that the consideration for such a law is not at a mature stage.   However, she noted it is the aspiration of many frontline officers to have the legislation implemented.   “Many of my frontline officers - it's not just police officers but many public officers in the frontline - in recent years they have been intimidated, threatened and insulted when carrying out their duties and this is no good for a civic society. So there have been suggestions in the Legislative Council that the Government should seriously look into enacting a piece of legislation to prohibit or to control that sort of behaviour.   “But as I said, we have a lot of competing demands on our plate, so to speak. I have already outlined earlier this month that there are five important areas that the Government needs to legislate within the current term of the Legislative Council, which is about a few months. So I would say that this is not one of the pieces of legislation that has been put at the very high priority.”   The Government would strike the right balance if it proposes the law, Mrs Lam added.   “One day if we were to legislate, I think we would be very careful in striking the needed balance. Yes, the Basic Law protects and upholds rights of individuals, including freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, but as many court cases have made very clear, these rights and freedoms are not without limitations. So when they undermine another person’s rights, then of course something needs to be done.”
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