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Response from the Judiciary


The following is issued on behalf of the Judiciary:

In response to press enquiries on Sing Tao Daily's report, a spokesman for the Judiciary said today (November 8) that the Judiciary has been asked by the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services (AJLS Panel) of the Legislative Council (LegCo) on November 5 to prepare a paper on "Post-retirement employment and pension benefits and acceptance of advantages by judicial officers" for its special meeting on November 14, 2003. The information requested in the past few days by the media, including Sing Tao Daily, is part of the information which the AJLS Panel has requested the Judiciary to provide and will be included in the Judiciary's paper to the AJLS Panel of LegCo.

As a matter of respect and courtesy to LegCo, the Judiciary considers that it is usually inappropriate for us to give the information already required by LegCo to the media in advance of the provision of such information to LegCo. The Judiciary's paper to LegCo will also be released to the media.

However, in view of Sing Tao Daily's report today, it must be pointed out that the discretion under s.34 of Cap.401 (Pension Benefits (Judicial Officers) Ordinance) was delegated by the Governor to the Chief Justice in April 1995 and by law such delegation has continued to be effective. See s.28 of the Hong Kong Reunification Ordinance. There is no foundation in the report that Chief Justice Andrew Li had exercised the discretion under s.34 without delegated authority.

End/Saturday, November 8, 2003


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