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Hearing arrangements to be reviewed

Chief Justice Andrew Cheung has instructed that the Judiciary should immediately review the overall arrangements of handling cases involving a large number of litigants and observers at all levels of courts.   The Judiciary made the statement today in response to enquiries on the arrangements for the hearing of a case involving 47 defendants at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts, emphasising that the review is subject to the safeguarding of the due administration of justice.        The statement pointed out that the courts must adjudicate cases in accordance with the law and court procedures, adding that the courts have always sought to complete the hearing of each case as soon as practicable to ensure efficient administration of justice.   Regarding the case in question, the Judiciary explained that all 47 defendants must be heard before the same magistrate according to court procedures as they were charged with the same offence under the same case.   The case was first

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Jordan operation not a 'lockdown': CE

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the restricted area in Jordan was set up for the purpose of conducting compulsory COVID-19 testing and that there is a difference between what the Government is doing and what people normally refer to as a “city lockdown” in other parts of the world.   Speaking to the media after inspecting the restricted area today, Mrs Lam explained the scope of the Government’s operation there.   “On many occasions, any public health measures - especially in terms of mandating people to be subject to COVID-19 tests and requiring shops and premises to close - require the full co-operation of the citizens and also the businesses, but the Government is obliged to provide all the needed assistance.   “In this case, for example, we know that the residents being affected are not allowed to leave their home for up to 48 hours. So what the Government has done is we provided them with food packs which we believe should be able to support them for the next two days.   “And if there are other necessary requirements, they could always call our hotline and we will try to help. So that’s the approach that we have taken in supporting this type of operation.”   Mrs Lam also explained why the Jordan restricted area operation should not be regarded as a “lockdown”.   “I must make it very clear, that what we are doing is not what people see in other places as a lockdown. Because a lockdown normally means that you are not allowed to go out for a period. But in our case, this prohibition is linked to the test, so that’s why in English we call this a restriction-testing declaration. It is for the purpose of the compulsory testing.    “Once the compulsory testing for the entire area has been completed, then the order will be lifted and people will be allowed to go out.   “I would say that there is a difference between what we are doing in Hong Kong and what people normally refer to as a ‘city lockdown’ in other parts of the world.”
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