John Lee, chief executive of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), on Friday welcomed and thanked the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) for an interpretation of provisions in the Hong Kong national security law.
The NPC Standing Committee on Friday adopted an interpretation of Article 14 and Article 47 of the Hong Kong national security law at the 38th session of the 13th NPC.
Lee said the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR and the HKSAR government will fully implement the duties stipulated in the contents of the interpretation, in particular, on whether an overseas solicitor or barrister who is not qualified to practise generally in Hong Kong can participate in the handling of work in cases concerning national security.
The NPC Standing Committee interpretation of the provisions of the Hong Kong national security law made pursuant to the power conferred by the constitution and the Hong Kong national security law has clarified the meaning of the relevant provisions of the Hong Kong national security law, he said.
It establishes principles and is of great significance in the further improvement of the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security of the HKSAR, and the effective safeguarding of national security, he added.
The HKSAR government steadfastly safeguards national sovereignty, security and development interests, and upholds the authority of the Hong Kong national security law, Lee said.
He added that the HKSAR government resolutely carries out its duties and obligations to safeguard national security in accordance with the law, and to ensure the steadfast and successful implementation of “one country, two systems.”
Andrew Leung, president of the Legislative Council (LegCo) of the HKSAR, said that the interpretation of the Hong Kong national security law by the NPC Standing Committee is part of the constitutional order of the HKSAR under “one country, two systems.”
The interpretation can clarify the legislative intent and objectives of relevant provisions of the law, thereby eliminating uncertainties in the law enforcement procedures and ensuring the comprehensive and accurate implementation of the law, he said, adding that the LegCo is firmly committed to safeguarding national security for the steadfast and successful implementation of “one country, two systems.”
In a joint statement, the seventh-term LegCo members said that they welcome and support the interpretation by the NPC Standing Committee in accordance with the constitution and the power vested in the national security law, so as to clarify the legislative intent of relevant provisions of the Hong Kong national security law and assist the HKSAR in more fully and effectively implementing its legal system and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security.
The judiciary of the HKSAR said on Friday that it respects the lawful exercise of power by the NPC Standing Committee to make legally binding interpretations of Articles 14 and 47 of the Hong Kong national security law regarding the HKSAR’s performance of its duties in safeguarding national security.
The judiciary will, as required by Article 3 of the Hong Kong national security law, continue to effectively prevent, suppress and impose punishment for any act or activity endangering national security in accordance with law, and will, in the exercise of its independent judicial power (including that of final adjudication) under the Basic Law, impartially perform its judicial functions and handle cases involving national security accordingly.