The Department of Justice (DoJ) announced today (February 2) the establishment of the Steering Committee on Rule of Law Education to work in collaboration with representatives from relevant bureaux, the judicial and legal sectors, and the law schools to co-ordinate and collaborate in the promotion of awareness and proper understanding of the rule of law so as to strengthen the rule of law education and training in Hong Kong on all fronts.
The establishment of the Steering Committee is one of the key policy initiatives of the DoJ in the 2022 Policy Address. Chaired by the Secretary for Justice, Mr Paul Lam, SC, and vice-chaired by the Deputy Secretary for Justice, Mr Cheung Kwok-kwan, the Steering Committee comprises relevant Directors of Bureaux and representatives from the judicial and legal sectors as well as the law schools as members. The Steering Committee will advise and assist the DoJ on the strategy and programme for the promotion of the rule of law education, as well as facilitate the co-ordination and co-operation among government departments and relevant non-government organisations in the promotion of the rule of law education in Hong Kong. The DoJ seeks to convene the first meeting of the Steering Committee within February.
The Steering Committee will advise and assist the DoJ on the launch of the "Rule of Law Education Train-the-Trainers Programme". The Programme aims to train "trainers" in various sectors of the community to enhance their capability for and the effectiveness of promoting consistent and correct messages relating to the rule of law to youths and the general public, and enable the trainers to inspire others in instilling self-awareness of respect for the rule of law and a law-abiding spirit in their everyday lives. The Programme will complement and supplement existing initiatives relating to rule of law education and develop teaching materials for the trainers. Focusing on the rule of law, the teaching materials will cover topics on the Constitution, the Basic Law, the Hong Kong National Security Law, the main characteristics of the common law system in Hong Kong, the basic framework of Hong Kong's legal system and more, enabling the trainers to promote correct messages on the rule of law in the community through an easy-to-understand approach and from a fair and impartial perspective.
"To strengthen the community's trust in the legal and judicial system, continual and dedicated efforts should be made to enhance the rule of law education, so that the public can have a proper understanding of Hong Kong's common law system and the rule of law under 'one country, two systems'", Mr Lam said.
Mr Lam said he looked forward to working with members of the Steering Committee in implementing the Programme. The trainers are expected to reach out to the community in the latter half of 2023 to commence work on the promotion of the rule of law, with a view to enhancing public understanding of the principles of the rule of law, the characteristics and advantages of Hong Kong's common law, and the key features of Hong Kong's legal system, thereby fostering their respect for the rule of law and the self-consciousness to uphold the rule of law, and together, tell the good stories of Hong Kong's rule of law.
The membership of the Steering Committee is set out in the Appendix.
Ends/Thursday, February 2, 2023
Appendix: Membership of Steering Committee on Rule of Law Education