The Unprosecuted Taiwan Homicide, the Unaccepted Extradition Law Amendment Bill and the Underestimated Common Law
30 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 18, 2020
The 2019 Hong Kong Protests arose out of the popular opposition to a Bill that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government introduced to amend, generally, fugitive offenders and mutual legal assistance legislation. The Government claimed that the Bill was necessary to address “loopholes” identified in the handling of a case of homicide of a Hong Kong-resident woman in Taiwan by her Hong Kong-resident boyfriend who, having committed the homicide, returned to Hong Kong and was prosecuted only for money laundering. This article addresses two sets of legal issues concerning the Bill. First, it asserts that contrary to the Government's contention, the HKSAR courts do have jurisdiction to try the suspect of the Taiwan homicide case for the common law offence of homicide here. Next, the provisions of the Bill are examined to explain not only its principal flaws but also the implications from those flaws that fuelled the opposition against the Bill. In conclusion, some suggestions are made on judicial cooperation between Hong Kong and the “One Country” in criminal matters based on Hong Kong’s flexible and resilient common law legal and judicial systems.This paper is to be published in a forthcoming issue of the Hong Kong Law Journal.
Keywords: Hong Kong, Criminal Law, Homicide, Jurisdiction, Extradition Law Amendment, Fugitive Offenders, Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters
JEL Classification: K14, K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation