The Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 was a proposed bill in Hong Kong. It would have changed a law that was already there, the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance (Cap. 503) in relation to special submission arrangements and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance (Cap. 525). It would have changed the way the government of Hong Kong asked for people to be arrested in any other part of the People's Republic of China, namely mainland China, Macau, and Taiwan, with which it did not already have an existing law. The Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 was never passed.
Background[change | change source]
Early in 2018, a 19-year-old Hong Kong resident was arrested in Taiwan for killing his 20-year-old girlfriend. He was tried in Taiwan because the government of Hong Kong had no way to extradite him, to formally ask the government of Taiwan to send him to them as a prisoner. Because of this, people started talking about Hong Kong's criminal law.
In February 2019, the government proposed a change to criminal laws. The law is meant to allow a the government of Hong Kong to arrest anyone suspected of a crime and send them to places where it does not already have a formal extradition treaty, such as mainland China, Macau and Taiwan.
However, organizations like Amnesty International and many Hong Kongers saw that the law could also be used in another way. The law could allow the government to arrest almost any Hong Konger suspected of a crime and send them to be tried in mainland China instead of in Hong Kong. Mainland China has a reputation for unfair trials. They worried that the government would use this to arrest Hong Kongers who spoke against the mainland government and bring them to China as political prisoners and scare the people of Hong Kong.
The government stopped trying to pass the bill on June 15 and formally withdrew it on October 23, 2019.
Legacy[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Tso, Timothy. "Legal Service Division Report on Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019" (PDF). Legislative Council of Hong Kong.
- "LCQ3: Proposed amendments to Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance". Government Information Services. 27 March 2019.
- "Extradition bill not made to measure for mainland China and won't be abandoned, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says". South China Morning Post. 1 April 2019.
- "Hong Kong formally scraps extradition bill that sparked protests". BBC. October 23, 2019. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
- Euan McKurdy (June 21, 2019). "Thousands of protesters again hit Hong Kong's streets". Al Jazeera.