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Chief Justice congratulates CSD's passing-out members (with photos)

     The Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal, Mr Geoffrey Ma Tao-li, today (June 17) congratulated the Correctional Services Department (CSD)'s passing-out members and said the CSD has earned the respect and confidence of the community and he has no doubt that correctional officers will uphold and maintain the laws of Hong Kong, and will discharge their duties without fear or favour to any person.

     Speaking at a passing-out parade at the CSD Staff Training Institute, the Chief Justice added that the community takes an interest in the law and how the law operates, and all those who are involved in the law. He said that the world and the society in which we live are much more complex than in the old days. People are more aware of the law and their individual rights. It is therefore important that all those who are involved in the law must uphold the rule of law.

     The Chief Justice said, "The essence of the meaning of the rule of law is that everyone is equal before it: whether the Government, Judges, ordinary people or CSD officers. There are certain characteristics of the rule of law: the existence of just laws that protect individual rights and liberties, an independent Judiciary to enforce the rights and liberties. All individual rights and liberties are to be protected by the court and all of us. Our rights and liberties are to be protected. The rights and liberties of other people are also to be protected. This is the spirit of the Basic Law itself.

     "As CSD officers, I have no doubt that you will all uphold and maintain the laws of Hong Kong, and that you will discharge your duties without fear or favour to any person," he said.

     The Chief Justice also remarked, "The CSD has earned the respect and confidence of the community. However, I would like to remind you that all of us in the service of the law, all of you and this includes me as well, must realise that the Hong Kong community has very high expectations and demands of us. This is as it should be in a society governed by the rule of law."

     Congratulating the passing-out members and their family members, the Chief Justice said that today is a meaningful and significant day for them all, and it is also a significant day for the Hong Kong community.

     Thirty-seven Officers and 86 Assistant Officers II completed stringent training programmes lasting 26 weeks and 23 weeks respectively. Two Officers were awarded the Principal's Shield and three Assistant Officers II were awarded the Golden Whistle for outstanding performance.

     Three passing-out officers met the media after the parade. Officer Chan Chi-ming is a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Nursing graduate from Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He said he would use his professional nursing skills to look after the health of persons in custody, help them turn over a new leaf and reintegrate into society. Assistant Officer II Cheng Ka-man said the CSD's work is not limited to correctional institutions and reaches out to the community by organising activities to encourage young people to stay away from drugs and support rehabilitated persons.

     Assistant Officer II Mohammad Mati-ur-rehman, a Pakistani, said that as a law enforcement agency officer he would treat every person in custody equally, respect the rule of law and serve society.

Ends/Friday, June 17, 2016
Issued at HKT 20:50


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