Company’s director sentenced to suspended imprisonment for default on Labour Tribunal award

     The director of Hua Xiang Engineering Company Limited was prosecuted by the Labour Department (LD) for defaulting on the sum awarded to employees by the Labour Tribunal (LT) under the Employment Ordinance (EO). The director pleaded guilty earlier at Shatin Magistrates' Courts and was sentenced to four weeks' imprisonment suspended for 24 months today (July 2). The director was also ordered to pay the three employees the outstanding sum of about $438,000.
 
     The company failed to pay three employees the awarded sum of about $438,000 by the LT within 14 days in accordance with the requirement of the EO. The director concerned was prosecuted and convicted for his consent, connivance or neglect in the above offences.
 
     "The judgment will disseminate a strong message to all directors and responsible officers of bodies corporate that they have personal liability to ensure payment of awarded sums to employees according to the awards of the LT or the Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board in accordance with the EO," a spokesman for the LD said.
 
     "The LD will not tolerate these offences and will spare no effort in enforcing the law and safeguarding employees' statutory rights," the spokesman added.




Fatal traffic accident in Wan Chai

     Police are investigating a fatal traffic accident in Wan Chai today (July 2) in which a 29-year-old man died.

     At about 5.15am, a bus driven by a 52-year-old man was travelling along Hennessy Road eastbound. When approaching 555 Hennessy Road, it reportedly hit the 29-year-old man who was lying on the ground.

     The man was trapped under the bus and was rescued by firemen. Sustaining serious head injuries, the man was rushed to Ruttonjee Hospital in unconscious state and was certified dead at 6.32am.

     Post-mortem examinations will be conducted later to ascertain the cause of death of the deceased.

     Investigation by the Special Investigation Team of Traffic, Hong Kong Island is underway.

     Anyone who witnessed the accident or has any information to offer is urged to contact the investigating officers on 3660 6838.
     




Man fined for operating unlicensed guesthouse

     A man was fined $2,500 at the Shatin Magistrates' Courts today (July 2) for contravening the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance.

     The court heard that in May last year, officers of the Office of the Licensing Authority (OLA), Home Affairs Department, inspected a suspected unlicensed guesthouse in Shek Kwu Lung in Tai Po. During the inspection, the OLA officers posed as lodgers and successfully rented a room in the guesthouse on a daily basis.

     According to the OLA's records, the guesthouse did not possess a licence under the Ordinance on the day of inspection. The man responsible for operating the premises was charged with contravening section 5(1) of the Ordinance.

     A department spokesman stressed that operating or managing an unlicensed guesthouse is a criminal offence and can lead to a criminal record. Upon conviction, the offender is liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and two years' imprisonment.

     The spokesman appealed to anyone with information about suspected unlicensed guesthouses to report it to the OLA through the hotline (Tel: 2881 7498), by email (hadlaenq@had.gov.hk), by fax (2504 5805) using the report form downloaded from the OLA website (www.hadla.gov.hk), or through the mobile application "Hong Kong Licensed Hotels and Guesthouses".




Effective Exchange Rate Index

     The effective exchange rate index for the Hong Kong dollar on Thursday, July 2, 2020 is 107.7 (down 0.1 against 

Statement by Chief Justice of Court of Final Appeal

The following is issued on behalf of the Judiciary:
 
     On June 30, 2020, the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ("National Security Law") was passed to take effect in Hong Kong.
      
     Under Article 44, the Chief Executive shall designate judges at each level of court to handle cases and appeals in relation to the National Security Law. As stated in the Government booklet on the National Security Law issued on July 1, 2020, judges are to be designated by the Chief Executive after consultation with the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal. As far as the Judiciary is concerned, Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma would like to state some general principles regarding the designation of judges and the operation of the courts in handling cases under the National Security Law. It is inappropriate to comment on other aspects of the Law.
 
1. It is important to bear in mind that as far as the designation of judges and the operation of the courts are concerned, these two aspects must be subject to the requirements of the Basic Law. Accordingly, for example, designated judges can only comprise judges (this term to include judicial officers) who have been appointed pursuant to the requirements of the Basic Law. All designated judges therefore will come from the existing ranks of the Judiciary. This is prescribed under Article 44 of the National Security Law. Appointments of judges under Article 88 of the Basic Law are made by the Chief Executive on the recommendation of the Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission, which is chaired by the Chief Justice. This has always been the position in Hong Kong.
 
2. Another relevant provision of the Basic Law is Article 92. As the Chief Executive has recently made clear, designated judges, like all judges, are to be appointed on the basis of their judicial and professional qualities. These are the only criteria relevant to the appointment of judges. This therefore means, for example, that judges should not be designated on the basis of any political considerations. This reinforces the principle that in the handling or determination of any legal dispute, only the law and legal principle will be considered.
 
3. Judges of foreign nationality are not excluded. They are expressly permitted to be appointed as judges in Hong Kong under the Basic Law. Such judges include the Non-Permanent Judges of the Court of Final Appeal from common law jurisdictions, whose immense contribution to Hong Kong has repeatedly been acknowledged by the Chief Executive.
 
4. Article 44 of the National Security Law refers to the designation of a number of judges. This is not automatically to suggest the unsuitability of the other judges in the Judiciary. In considering the suitability of judges to be designated, any legal objections will have to be taken into account, such as those set out in Article 44 or any objections based on bias or reasonable perceptions of bias or other legal objections. It is intended that once the term of designated judges comes to an end, other suitable judges may be designated. This will in particular apply as far as the Non-Permanent Judges of the Court of Final Appeal from common law jurisdictions are concerned.  
 
5. The listing and handling of cases, the assignment of which judge or judges are to handle cases or appeals will be determined by the court leader of the relevant level of court. These are matters within the sole responsibility of the Judiciary.
 
     The independence of the Judiciary and the rule of law are cornerstones of the Hong Kong community, and they are guaranteed under the Basic Law. It remains the mission and the constitutional duty of the Hong Kong Judiciary to maintain and protect them.