Chapter IV Jurisdiction, Applicable Law and Procedure
Article 40 The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall have jurisdiction over cases concerning offences under this Law, except under the circumstances specified in Article 55 of this Law.
Article 41 This Law and the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall apply to procedural matters, including those related to criminal investigation, prosecution, trial, and execution of penalty, in respect of cases concerning offence endangering national security over which the Region exercises jurisdiction.
No prosecution shall be instituted in respect of an offence endangering national security without the written consent of the Secretary for Justice. This provision shall not prejudice the arrest and detention of a person who is suspected of having committed the offence or the application for bail by the person in accordance with the law.
Cases concerning offence endangering national security within the jurisdiction of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be tried on indictment.
The trial shall be conducted in an open court. When circumstances arise such as the trial involving State secrets or public order, all or part of the trial shall be closed to the media and the public but the judgment shall be delivered in an open court.
Article 42 When applying the laws in force in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region concerning matters such as the detention and time limit for trial, the law enforcement and judicial authorities of the Region shall ensure that cases concerning offence endangering national security are handled in a fair and timely manner so as to effectively prevent, suppress and impose punishment for such offence.
No bail shall be granted to a criminal suspect or defendant unless the judge has sufficient grounds for believing that the criminal suspect or defendant will not continue to commit acts endangering national security.
Article 43 When handling cases concerning offence endangering national security, the department for safeguarding national security of the Police Force of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region may take measures that law enforcement authorities, including the Hong Kong Police Force, are allowed to apply under the laws in force in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in investigating serious crimes, and may also take the following measures:
(1) search of premises, vehicles, vessels, aircraft and other relevant places and electronic devices that may contain evidence of an offence;
(2) ordering any person suspected of having committed an offence endangering national security to surrender travel documents, or prohibiting the person concerned from leaving the Region;
(3) freezing of, applying for restraint order, charging order and confiscation order in respect of, and forfeiture of property used or intended to be used for the commission of the offence, proceeds of crime, or other property relating to the commission of the offence;
(4) requiring a person who published information or the relevant service provider to delete the information or provide assistance;
(5) requiring a political organisation of a foreign country or outside the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of the People’s Republic of China, or an agent of authorities or a political organisation of a foreign country or outside the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of the People’s Republic of China, to provide information;
(6) upon approval of the Chief Executive, carrying out interception of communications and conducting covert surveillance on a person who is suspected, on reasonable grounds, of having involved in the commission of an offence endangering national security; and
(7) requiring a person, who is suspected, on reasonable grounds, of having in possession information or material relevant to investigation, to answer questions and furnish such information or produce such material.
The Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be responsible for supervising the implementation of the measures stipulated in the first paragraph of this Article by law enforcement authorities including the department for safeguarding national security of the Hong Kong Police Force.
The Chief Executive shall be authorised, in conjunction with the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, to make relevant implementation rules for the purpose of applying the measures under the first paragraph of this Article.
Article 44 The Chief Executive shall designate a number of judges from the magistrates, the judges of the District Court, the judges of the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal of the High Court, and the judges of the Court of Final Appeal, and may also designate a number of judges from deputy judges or recorders, to handle cases concerning offence endangering national security. Before making such designation, the Chief Executive may consult the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal. The term of office of the aforementioned designated judges shall be one year.
A person shall not be designated as a judge to adjudicate a case concerning offence endangering national security if he or she has made any statement or behaved in any manner endangering national security. A designated judge shall be removed from the designation list if he or she makes any statement or behaves in any manner endangering national security during the term of office.
The proceedings in relation to the prosecution for offences endangering national security in the magistrates’ courts, the District Court, the High Court and the Court of Final Appeal shall be handled by the designated judges in the respective courts.
Article 45 Unless otherwise provided by this Law, magistrates’ courts, the District Court, the High Court and the Court of Final Appeal shall handle proceedings in relation to the prosecution for offences endangering national security in accordance with the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Article 46 In criminal proceedings in the Court of First Instance of the High Court concerning offences endangering national security, the Secretary for Justice may issue a certificate directing that the case shall be tried without a jury on the grounds of, among others, the protection of State secrets, involvement of foreign factors in the case, and the protection of personal safety of jurors and their family members. Where the Secretary for Justice has issued the certificate, the case shall be tried in the Court of First Instance without a jury by a panel of three judges.
Where the Secretary for Justice has issued the certificate, the reference to “a jury” or “a verdict of the jury” in any provision of the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region applicable to the related proceedings shall be construed as referring to the judges or the functions of the judge as a judge of fact.
Article 47 The courts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall obtain a certificate from the Chief Executive to certify whether an act involves national security or whether the relevant evidence involves State secrets when such questions arise in the adjudication of a case. The certificate shall be binding on the courts.