Prof Simon Young, member of CCPL Board of Management and CCPL Fellow, published a book chapter “Police Powers under the National Security Law: A Commentary” in The National Security Law of Hong Kong: Restoration and Transformation (HKU Press, 2022).
The chapter is a commentary on the police powers provided for in the National Security Law (NSL). It addresses three broad questions. First, how does the NSL extend the existing scope of duties and functions of police in Hong Kong? Second, how are existing police powers in Hong Kong extended? Third, how does the NSL alter the existing mechanisms of keeping police powers in check? The first two questions are related because the distinct duties and functions of national security police are related to the powers these officers need to discharge their duties and functions. The third question explores the methods and mechanisms of limiting these powers.
In many ways, these questions are novel. Before the promulgation of the NSL on 30 June 2020, police powers in Hong Kong were either found in the common law or created by Hong Kong legislation. This is the first occasion for national law to be directly applied to confer powers on the Hong Kong police. How this affects the equilibrium of police and resident relations in the context of law enforcement is the focus of this chapter.
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