The Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, today said law-based governance was a cornerstone value of Macao. To achieve that, firm adherence to safeguarding the dignity and authority of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and of the Basic Law of the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) was of the utmost importance, he stated.
Mr Ho made the remarks in a speech delivered on Wednesday (20 October) at a ceremony held at the Macao Cultural Centre, marking the start of the 2021/2022 Judicial Year.
Other officials taking part in the ceremony were: the President of the Legislative Assembly, Mr Kou Hoi In; the President of the Court of Final Appeal, Mr Sam Hou Fai; the Secretary for Administration and Justice, Mr Cheong Weng Chon; the Public Prosecutor-General, Mr Ip Son Sang; the President of the Independent Committee for the Nomination of Judges, Mr Lau Cheok Va; and the President of the Macau Lawyers Association, Mr Jorge Neto Valente.
In his remarks, Mr Ho noted the judiciary had always acted in line strictly with their constitutional responsibilities as vested by the Basic Law; and had played a significant role in maintaining social justice and proper social order in the community; as well as making extensive contributions to Macao’s successful implementation of the “One country, two systems” principle.
The Chief Executive underlined that the MSAR Government would continue to implement precisely the “One country, two systems” principle, and adhere to the principles of “Macao people governing Macao”, and a high degree of autonomy. The MSAR Government would dedicate utmost effort to safeguarding the country’s sovereignty, safety and development interests, while paying great attention to any attempt by external forces to intervene in Macao’s internal affairs, Mr Ho added.
The MSAR Government would, as always, safeguard judicial independence and the dispensation of justice via the legal system; while supporting the functioning of thejudiciary, optimising the mechanism for training of the judiciary, and enhancing resources allocated to the judicial bodies, Mr Ho said.
Mr Ho also talked about the challenges faced by the judiciary due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were questions that needed timely responses from the judiciary and the legal professional sector, such as how to strike a balance between the health and safety of the public, and the rights and freedoms enjoyed by each individual; how to ensure safety of personal information in the context also of protecting public health; how to resolve effectively questions of civil and commercial law linked either directly or indirectly to the pandemic; and how to protect further the right of disadvantaged groups.
The Chief Executive additionally mentioned the Master Plan of the Development of the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin. He said the Master Plan also required active involvement from legal professionals to contribute their innovative ideas and insights on how to connect Macao with the Cooperation Zone regarding rules for civil and commercial matters. Such effort would help consolidate Macao’s unique advantages and further the city’s integration with overall national development, he added.
Mr Sam, Mr Ip and Mr Valente each gave a speech during the ceremony marking the start of the 2021/2022 Judicial Year.
Among the approximately 150 guests attending Wednesday’s event were: the Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, Mr Fu Ziying; and the Commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR, Mr Liu Xianfa; as well as further principal officials of the Macao SAR; members of the Executive Council; officials of judicial authorities; members of the Legislative Assembly; other officials of the Macao SAR; and representatives from the legal professional sector.View gallery