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LC: Speech by CS on proposed resolution on Criminal Appeal (Amendment) Rules 2015

     Following is the speech (translated from Chinese) by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, in moving proposed resolution under Criminal Procedure Ordinance (Cap. 221) for Criminal Appeal (Amendment) Rules 2015 in the Legislative Council today (March 18):

Mr President,

     I move that the Resolution standing in my name on the Agenda be passed. This motion aims to seek the approval of the Legislative Council for the Criminal Appeal (Amendment) Rules 2015 made by the Criminal Procedure Rules Committee under section 9 of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance (Cap. 221).

     Under rule 39 of the Criminal Appeal Rules (Cap. 221 sub. leg. A), an appellant may, at any time before the hearing thereof, abandon his appeal by giving notice of abandonment thereof to the Registrar in Form VII, and upon such notice being received by the Registrar the appeal shall be deemed to have been dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

     In order to reduce the number of unmeritorious applications to revive appeals by applicants who have filed a Notice of Abandonment, the Judiciary proposes to amend the Notice of Abandonment to indicate the effect in law of an abandonment, i.e. once an appeal is abandoned and thus dismissed, the Court of Appeal has no inherent jurisdiction to permit an appeal to be reopened unless the abandonment is treated as a nullity, or the matter is referred to it by the Chief Executive under section 83P of Cap. 221. The kernel of the nullity test is that the court must be satisfied that the abandonment is not the result of a deliberate and informed decision, i.e. the defendant's mind does not go with the act of the abandonment.

     The Criminal Appeal (Amendment) Rules 2015 seek to amend the Schedule to Cap. 221 sub. leg. A in Form VII for the above purpose. I invite Members to pass the Resolution. Thank you.

Ends/Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:26


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