Judicial independence upheld

Chief Executive Carrie Lam today said she is obliged to uphold the independence of Hong Kong's Judiciary.   Mrs Lam made the statement ahead of this morning's Executive Council meeting.   She said: "That is a duty imposed on me as the Chief Executive under the Basic Law because I am not just the head of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, I'm also the one in charge of the entire Hong Kong SAR. And the independence of the Judiciary, the efficiency of the Judiciary and the smooth operation of the Judiciary are matters of concern to the Chief Executive."   Mrs Lam noted that it is normal and necessary for the Chief Executive to meet the Chief Justice to discuss matters of the Judiciary.   "I need to meet with the Chief Justice who is the head of the Judiciary to discuss those matters within our respective jurisdiction.   "I think the Judiciary has also issued a response along those lines, that the CJ - whether the current CJ or the former CJ - does meet me from time to time when he has issues to raise, for example about staffing, resources, new court buildings and the appointment of judges because I'm the authority to appoint judges. And in some of the local legislation, there's a requirement for the Chief Justice to nominate, and for the CE to consult. So if we don't meet, how do we do that?   "So this is only normal, and I would advise against any reading into legitimate and proper meetings between the CE and the CJ as intervention in judicial independence."
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