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LC: Speech by CS for proposed resolution under Coroners Ordinance
     Following is the speech (translated from Chinese) by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, for the proposed resolution under the Coroners Ordinance in the Legislative Council today (March 29):
Madam President,
     I move that the third Resolution standing in my name on the Agenda be passed.  This motion aims to seek the approval of the Legislative Council for the Coroners (Witnesses’ Allowances) (Amendment) Rules 2017 made by the Chief Justice under section 54 of the Coroners Ordinance.
     At present, the maximum rates of allowances payable to witnesses in coroners’ inquests are the same as those for witnesses in criminal proceedings.  The adjustment mechanism approved by the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council is also the same as that for the allowances for witnesses under the Criminal Procedure (Witnesses’ Allowances) Rules.  Following a review conducted in 2016, the Judiciary Administration proposed, and the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury approved, to increase the maximum rate of allowance for ordinary witnesses from $445 to $515 for each day of attendance and from $220 to $255 for not exceeding four hours of attendance.  For professional or expert witnesses, the maximum rate of allowance would be increased from $2,415 to $2,770 for each day of attendance and from $1,205 to $1,385 for not exceeding four hours of attendance.
     The Coroners (Witnesses’ Allowances) (Amendment) Rules 2017 seek to implement the new rates of allowances.  I invite Members to approve the Resolution.  Thank you, Madam President.
Ends/Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:09
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