In response to the statement issued by the Hong Kong Bar Association today (February 14), the Department of Justice makes the following statement:
1. As acknowledged by the Bar Association, the question of whether to make reference under Article 158(3) of the Basic Law in the foreign domestic helpers (FDH) appeals is a legal question. The Court of Final Appeal (CFA) will address this legal question at the hearing of the FDH appeals in accordance with established legal principles.
2. The Government and the Secretary for Justice are fully conscious of their duties, and are committed, to maintaining the rule of law and safeguarding public interests. In the event the CFA finds it necessary, the Government and the Secretary for Justice will render such assistance as may be required by the Court on all relevant issues concerning Article 158(3) of the Basic Law in the FDH appeals.
3. As the FDH appeals will soon be heard before the CFA, it is not appropriate for the Government to engage in any detailed discussion of the issues involved at this stage.
Ends/Thursday, February 14, 2013