The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, releases "The Chief Executive's 2018 Policy Address" at the Legislative Council on October 10, 2018.
The 2018 Policy Address by the Chief Executive Carrie Lam (Excerpt)
The rule of law is the most important core value of Hong Kong, and independence of the Judiciary is the key to embodying the rule of law. The Basic Law lays out the fundamental principles underpinning our independent judicial system. Notable ones are the independent exercise of judicial power by our courts free from interference, vesting of the power of final adjudication of the HKSAR in our Court of Final Appeal (CFA), and invitation of judges from other common law jurisdictions to sit on our CFA. We will continue to steadfastly safeguard judicial independence and uphold the rule of law. Let me reiterate that, any behaviour arising from disappointment with certain court verdicts, including unreasonable attacks on the judicial system and the Judiciary, interference with the independence of judicial power or verbal insults on judges, are totally unacceptable as well as detrimental to the judicial system and the spirit of jurisdiction in Hong Kong. As the Chief Justice of the CFA, Mr Geoffrey MA Tao-li, pointed out at the Ceremonial Opening of the Legal Year 2018, any criticisms which are levelled against the Judiciary should be on an informed basis. Courts and judges are concerned only with the law and the legal issues which arise in any disputes to be determined by them. It is not relevant, nor is it any part of their constitutional duty to adjudicate on political, economic or social issues as such without reference to the law. It is in everyone's interest that the rule of law remains strong, respected and visible.
To ensure the effective operation of the Judiciary, the Government has all along been providing sufficient resources and necessary support to the Judiciary. Concerning court facilities, the Judiciary has set up a central steering committee to oversee the new High Court project adjacent to the Central Government Offices at Tamar and the District Court project at Caroline Hill Road. The relevant departments will work closely with the Judiciary to press ahead with these two major projects that can address the long-term needs of the courts. On human resources, the Government has accepted the proposals of the Judiciary and plans to extend the statutory retirement ages for judges and judicial officers to 70 (judges at the level of the Court of First Instance of the High Court and above) and 65 (judicial officers below the High Court level). This will be conducive to the goal of enhancing judicial manpower, address the recruitment difficulties of the Judiciary, and help retain senior judicial talent with extensive experience. We will introduce the relevant legislative amendments for scrutiny by the LegCo as soon as possible.