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Youth commission meets

Chief Secretary John Lee today chaired the Youth Development Commission's ninth meeting where members welcomed the new youth development initiatives and the direction of reorganising the Government structure to foster and support youth development in the 2021 Policy Address.   The commission will actively follow up on the Chief Executive’s invitation to explore the introduction of a new funding scheme to subsidise eligible non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to organise projects that are conducive to nurturing young people's positive thinking.   It will roll out a new thematic funding scheme on outdoor adventure training activities for more NGOs to provide systematic and quality outdoor adventure training activities for young people.   Members were also briefed on the latest progress of the Funding Scheme for Youth Entrepreneurship in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme, as well as the details of relevant Polic

Sentences are in accordance with law

The Department of Justice today said baseless attacks on sentences imposed by the court, which properly and aptly exercises judicial power independently as guaranteed under the Basic Law, manifest a total disrespect to the rule of law.   The department made the statement in response to comments from overseas politicians concerning the sentences imposed by the District Court involving nine defendants who were jointly charged with organising and knowingly taking part in an unauthorised assembly.   It said two of the defendants pleaded guilty before trial while the remaining seven were convicted of all the charges by the court on April 1, adding the judge set out the reasons for the verdict in her judgment on the same day, which is publicly available at the Judiciary's website.   The judge also stated the sentencing principles in court in imposing the sentences today.   The department said the Government has repeatedly pointed out that where a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty after trial, it is the court's duty to impose a just and appropriate sentence, applying the relevant principles to the circumstances of the crime and those of the offender.   It is crucial that where there is any dissatisfaction over the sentences imposed by the courts, any redress ought to be taken up by means of an appeal or review, it added.   The department noted it is appalled by open demands for the immediate release of the defendants who admitted to their wrongdoing by either pleading guilty to their criminal act or were convicted after trial by the court.   While pointing out that such demands, absurd and menacing as they are, are in blatant violation of international laws and basic principle of non-intervention, the department said statements that create a real risk of prejudice to court proceedings in that the public confidence in the due administration of justice is undermined may amount to contempt of court.   It reminded members of the public that no one should comment arbitrarily on cases in respect of which legal proceedings are still ongoing as the matter is sub judice.
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