Civil Aid Service
The Civil Aid Service or CAS in short is a civil organisation that assists in a variety of auxiliary emergency roles, including search and rescue operations in Hong Kong: providing support to the government regular emergency forces on counter disaster activities, mountain search and rescue, flood rescue, countryside fire protection duties. CAS is funded by the Hong Kong Government and its members wear uniforms. Formed in 1952 under the British colonial government of Hong Kong and modelled after Civil Aid agencies in the United Kingdom; as well, a youth section, CAS Cadet Corps, adds 3,232 volunteers to the regular 3,634 force. The concept was introduced during British rule, an organisation found in Britain. A dedicated Civil Aid Service rescue training centre, with indoor and outdoor training areas, was opened by the governor on 15 November 1953 at Hawthorn Road, Happy Valley; the CAS used to be headquartered at Caroline Hill Road in Causeway Bay. It moved to Yau Ma Tei in 2006; the six-storey former CAS Headquarters is slated for demolition by the government.
CAS are headed by the CAS by Chief Staff Officer. Dr Norman Leung The Hon Charles Edward Michael Terry Commissioner Deputy Commissioner - Operations, Administration Senior Assistant Commissioner - Operations, Development & Youth Regional / Cadet Corps / Support Force Commander / Administration Force / Tactical Force Deputy Regional / Cadet Corps / Support Force Commander Assistant Regional Commander / Principal Staff Officer Company Commander / Senior Staff Officer Deputy Company Commander / Staff Officer Platoon Commander / Assistant Staff Officer Rank Below IV are called "Other Rank Members" Chief Section Leader Senior Section Leader Section Leader Deputy Section Leader Senior Member Member Cadet / Senior Cadet / Deputy Cadet Leader / Cadet Leader / Senior Cadet Leader Headquarters – Yau Ma Tei Hong Kong Training Centre – Causeway Bay Tai Tan Camp – Sai Kung Yuen Tun Camp – Sham Tseng CAS Vehicles is managed by Transport Company. There are various types of vehicles in service for different uses including: Motorcycle Mobile Command Unit - Toyota Coaster 16 Seats Mountain Rescue Vehicle Emergency Lightening Vehicle Mobile Canteen Rescue Tender Coaches - Mistubishi Rosa Van, etc.
The Mountain Search and Rescue Company or CAS MSaR consists of two search and rescue teams specializing in mountain terrain within Hong Kong. MSaR team is made up of auxiliary members of CAS. Formed in 1967, it has a combined total of 246 members. MSaR works with Hong Kong Fire Services and Government Flying Service; the current crest of the force was adopted in 1997 to replace most of the British colonial symbols: St Edward's Crown replace with the Bauhinia, Hong Kong's regional emblem Crest's unilingual wording CAS Hong Kong replaced with the bilingual "香港 - 民安隊 Civil Aid Service - Hong Kong"Source: CAS Hong Kong Disciplined Services
Human rights in Hong Kong
Human rights protection is enshrined in the Basic Law and its Bill of Rights Ordinance. By virtue of the Bill of Rights Ordinance and Basic Law Article 39, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is put into effect in Hong Kong. Any legislation, inconsistent with the Basic Law can be set aside by the courts. In general, Hong Kong is perceived to enjoy a high level of civil liberties; the Hong Kong government respects the human rights of the citizens, although core issues remain. There are concerns over the freedom of assembly, restricted by the Public Order Ordinance; the police has been accused of using heavy-handed tactics towards protestors and questions are asked towards the extensive powers of the police. As to the right of privacy, covert surveillance remains the major concern. There is a lack of protection for homosexuals due to the absence of a sexual orientation discrimination law. There are comments regarding a lack of protection for labour rights. Human rights in Hong Kong comes under the spotlight of the international community because of its world city status.
This is used as a yardstick by commentators to judge whether the People's Republic of China has kept its end of the bargain of the "One Country, Two Systems" principle granted to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by its current mini-constitution, the Basic Law, under the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Alleged human rights violations are sometimes used by skeptics to argue that the “One Country, Two Systems” policy is a failure. Under the Annex I of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, it stated that: The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government shall protect the rights and freedoms of inhabitants and other persons in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region according to law; the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government shall maintain the rights and freedoms as provided for by the laws in force in Hong Kong, including freedom of the person, of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, to form and join trade unions, of correspondence, of travel, of movement, of strike, of demonstration, of choice of occupation, of academic research, of belief, inviolability of the home, the freedom to marry and the right to raise a family freely.
Under the Basic Law, the constitutional documents of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, certain rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents are guaranteed and safeguarded in Chapter III of the law. These rights and freedoms include: equality before the law. Article 39 expressly states that the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic and Cultural Rights, international labour conventions as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force in Hong Kong to the extent that they shall not contravene the provisions of the rights protected by the Basic Law. Although these rights are explicitly vested in Hong Kong residents, non-residents in Hong Kong may enjoy these rights and freedoms in accordance with law by Article 41. In addition, Article 87 protects and preserves the rights enjoyed by parties to any criminal or civil proceedings the right to fair trial by the courts without delay and the presumption of innocence until convicted by the courts.
Article 105 protects the rights of property and the right to compensation for lawful deprivation of property of individuals and legal persons. The Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance, enacted in 1991, is the local adaptation of the provisions of the ICCPR as applied in Hong Kong; the Bill of Rights has been recognised by the courts as one of the constitutional documents alongside with the Basic Law. However, the fact that the Bill of Rights was enacted in the form of an Ordinance means that the Legislature can amend or repeal the Bill of Rights by an ordinanry enactment through ordinary legislative procedure, subject to judicial review. Furthermore, if any part of the Bill of Rights is held unconstitutional, the courts are bound to strike down that part. After the transfer of sovereignty, certain provisions of the Bill of Rights ceased to have effect, including sections 2 (duty
Secretary for Justice (Hong Kong)
The Secretary for Justice is the head of the Hong Kong Department of Justice, the chief legal advisor to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, the chief law enforcement officer of the Government of Hong Kong. Before the Transfer of the Sovereignty in 1997, the position was known as the Attorney-General of Hong Kong; the Secretary for Justice, nominated by the Chinese government on the advice of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, is an ex officio member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong. The Secretary takes office after appointment by the Government of the People's Republic of China, responsible for Hong Kong's foreign affairs and defence; the Secretary for Justice belongs to the Policy Committee, chaired by the Chief Secretary, The Office of the Secretary for Justice was established by the Hong Kong Basic Law, which guarantees the power of the Department of Justice to control criminal prosecutions free from any interference. The position is held by a legal professional, was, before July 2002, a civil service position.
The Secretary for Justice, after the Chief Secretary and the Financial Secretary, is one of the three highest Principal Officials of the Government. The current Secretary for Justice is Teresa Cheng, GBS, SC, JP. In the course of discharging his or her duties as the chief legal advisor to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, the Secretary for Justice is assisted by five law officers, namely: the Solicitor General who heads the Legal Policy Division, the Director of Public Prosecutions who head the Prosecutions Division, the Law Officer who heads the Civil Law Division, the Law Officer who heads the International Law Division, the Law Draftsman who heads the Law Drafting Division The Secretary for Justice is the third in line, after the Chief Secretary and the Financial Secretary, to act for the Chief Executive when he or she is on leave, outside Hong Kong, or when the position is otherwise temporarily vacant; the Secretary for Justice ranks fifth in the Hong Kong order of precedence. The Secretary for Justice has an official residence at The Peak.
Before the 1997 handover to China, the position was known as the Attorney General, the department was known as the Legal Department and was known as the Attorney General's Chambers. The office of the Attorney General was never localized during British rule and no Hong Kong Chinese held this key post. Political party: Nonpartisan Attorney general Justice minister Minister of Justice, who performs similar functions to his or her Hong Kong counterpart
Hong Kong Observatory
The Hong Kong Observatory is a weather forecast agency of the government of Hong Kong. The Observatory forecasts the weather and issues warnings on weather-related hazards, it monitors and makes assessments on radiation levels in Hong Kong and provides other meteorological and geophysical services to meet the needs of the public and the shipping, aviation and engineering sectors. The Observatory was established in 1883 as the Hong Kong Observatory by Sir George Bowen, the 9th Governor of Hong Kong, with Dr William Doberck as its first director. Early operations included meteorological and magnetic observations, a time service based on astronomical observations and a tropical cyclone warning service; the Observatory was renamed the Royal Observatory Hong Kong after obtaining a Royal Charter in 1912. The Observatory adopted the current name and emblem in 1997 after the transfer of Hong Kong's sovereignty from the UK to China; the Hong Kong Observatory was built in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon in 1883.
Observatory Road in Tsim Sha Tsui is so named based on this landmark. However, due to rapid urbanisation, it is now surrounded by skyscrapers; as a result of high greenhouse gas emissions, the reflection of sunlight from buildings and the surfaces of roads, as well as the reduced vegetation, it suffers from a heat island effect. This was demonstrated by the considerable increase in average temperatures recorded by the Observatory between 1980 and 2005. In 2002, the Observatory opened a resource centre on the 23rd Floor of the nearby Miramar Tower, where the public can buy Hong Kong Observatory publications and access other meteorological information; this building, built in 1883, is a rectangular two-storey plastered brick structure. It now houses the office of the directorate and to serve as a centre of administration of the Observatory; the building is a declared monument of Hong Kong since 1984. It is next to the 1883 Building. Over the years, the observatory has been led by: William Doberck，Ph.
D.，1883–1907 Frederick George Figg，1907–1912 Thomas Folkes Claxton，F. R. A. S.，1912–1932 Charles William Jeffries, F. R. A. S.，1932–1941 Benjamin Davies Evans，F. R. A. S. F. R. Met. S.，1941–1946 Graham Scudamore Percival Heywood，M. A. F. R. Met. S.，1946–1956 Ian Edward Meni Watts，Ph. D. F. R. Met. S.，1956–1965 Gordon John Bell，O. B. E. M. A. F. R. Met. S.，1965–1981 John Edgar Peacock，O. B. E. B. Sc.，1981–1984 – the last British holder of the position Patrick Pak Sham，I. S. O. B. Sc. F. R. Met. S.，1984–1995 – he was the first Chinese to serve as director as the Government began the process of promoting local staff Robert Chi-kwan Lau，B. Sc. DIP. N. A. A. C.，1995–1996 Lam Hung-kwan，Ph. D. F. R. Met. S，1996–2003 Lam Chiu-ying，Hon. F. R. Met. S. C Met.，2003–2009 Lee Boon-ying, Ph. D. MBA, FHKMetS, MCMetS，2009–2011 Shun Chi-ming，F. R. Met. S，2011– From 1885 to 1948 the HKO used the coat of arms of the United Kingdom in various styles for its logo but in 1949 this was changed to a circular escutcheon featuring pictures of weather observation tools, with the year 1883 at the bottom and a St Edward's Crown at the top.
In 1981 the logo was changed to the old coat of arms, in 1997, with the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong, the current logo was introduced to replace the colonial symbols. The Friends of the Observatory, an interest group set up in 1996 to help the Observatory to promote Hong Kong Observatory and its services to the public, provide science extension activities in relation to the works of the Observatory and foster communication between the Observatory and the public, now has more than 7,000 individual and family members in total. Activities organised for the Friends of the Observatory include regular science lectures and visits to Observatory's facilities. Newsletters were published for members once every four months. Voluntary docents from this interest group lead a "HKO Guided Tour" to let the public who applied for visit in advance to visit the headquarters of the Observatory, learn about the history and meteorological science applied by the Observatory; the Observatory organises visits for the secondary school students.
This outreach programme was extended to primary school students, the elderly and the community groups in the recent years. Talks are organised in primary school during the winter time, when the officials are less busy in the severe climate issues and watchouts. A roving exhibition for the public was mounted in shopping malls in 2003. To promote understanding of the services provided by the Observatory and their benefits to the community, over 50 press releases were issued and 7 media briefings were held in 2003. From time to time, the Observatory works with schools for a series of events, including with the Geography Society of PLK Vicwood KT Chong Sixth Form College between 2008 and 2009. Hong Kong Time Climate of Hong Kong Hong Kong rainstorm warning signals Hong Kong tropical cyclone warning signals China Meteorological Administration Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau Central Weather Bureau Official website "Weather Underground of Hong Kong". "Hong Kong Weather Information for Tourists".
Weather Underground. "World Weather Information Service". WMO. "Weather Around the World". Time and Date AS. "World weather". MET Office
Radio Television Hong Kong is the public broadcasting service in Hong Kong. GOW, the predecessor to RTHK was established in 1928 as the first broadcasting service in Hong Kong; as a government department under the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau of the Hong Kong Government, RTHK's educational and public affairs programmes are broadcast on its seven radio channels and three television channels, as well as commercial television channels. Unlike other public broadcasters like the BBC and NHK, which are funded by licence fees, RTHK is directly supported by an annual government funding; the Hong Kong Government launched its first radio broadcasting station, known as "GOW", on 30th June 1928, with a starting staff of only six people. Several name changes occurred over the next few years, it became known as "Radio Hong Kong" in 1948. In 1949, broadcasting operations were taken over by the Government Information Services, but by 1954, RHK had managed to establish itself as an independent department.
Up until 1966, the radio station was only on-air for three periods during the day. This was due to many of the presenters being part-time freelancers who had to fit their radio appearances in with their normal daily working schedule. In 1969, the station's medium wave AM transmitting station was moved from a waterfront site in Hung Hom to the summit of Golden Hill in the New Territories. Although the new transmitters were much more powerful, the mountain-top site proved unsuitable for medium wave transmissions and reception in some areas has remained problematic since. In March 1969, RHK moved its headquarters to new purpose-built studios located at Broadcasting House in Kowloon Tong. A Public Affairs Television Unit was established in 1970 to produce TV programmes for required broadcast by independent channels. At that time, RTHK did not have its own television broadcast transmitters. In 1973, RTHK set up its own radio newsroom. Prior to this, all news had been prepared by Government Information Services staff.
Until 1969, headlines were sent to the studios every half-hour by teleprinter from the GIS headquarters in Central District, while the three daily full bulletins were hand-delivered by a messenger. This arrangement became impractical following the move to the new studios in 1969, so a GIS newsroom was set up in Broadcasting House; this arrangement proved unsatisfactory and RTHK's own journalists, who until had been confined to producing magazine programmes, took over the entire news operation. In 1976, the station's name was changed to "Radio Television Hong Kong" to reflect its new involvement in television programme production. In the same year, it began to produce educational television programmes for schools after absorbing the independent Educational Television Unit. In 1986, RTHK headquarters moved across the road to the former Commercial Television studios, which were renamed Television House; the station's first News and Financial News channel, Radio 7, was established in November 1989.
In December 1994, RTHK launched its website and made its television productions, as well as content from its seven radio channels, available online. The website provided live broadcasts as well as a twelve-month archive; the website, presented in English, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese offered free news via email three times per day, as well as online content. In 2013, RTHK launched a new television channel. To support this new television operation, the government administration increased the station's funding by between HK$300 million and HK$400 million a year. In April 2016, RTHK took over the analog channel frequencies of Asia Television after the latter's free television license expired. In March 2017, as the Hong Kong government decided to terminate DAB services in Hong Kong, RTHK said that it would integrate the existing DAB programmes into existing AM and FM radio channels; as the government claimed that RTHK should stop DAB service within six months, that means DAB service will be terminated no than September 30, 2017.
With the termination of DAB+ in Hong Kong, RTHK has announced in August 2017 that the broadcaster's relay of BBC World Service on Radio 6 would reduce to 8 hours a day and move to an overnight slot on Radio 4. CNR's programme 14 was heard on RTHK DAB 2 until DAB services in Hong Kong were shut down. RTHK operates twelve radio channels: RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs Awards RTHK operates three television channels: RTHK produces public affairs programmes such as Hong Kong Connection, A Week in Politics, Media Watch, Pentaprism and Police Report; these are broadcast by Hong Kong's three commercial television channels, TVB, ATV and Cable TV, in addition to RTHK's own television network. It has produced TV dramas, including the classic Below the Lion Rock. RTHK and the Hong Kong Education Bureau jointly produce Educational Television, a series of educational programmes for primary and secondary students – airing during non-peak hours on RTHK stations. ETV was first broadcast in 1971 for Primary 3 students and was extended to Primary 6 students in 1974.
In 1978, it was extended to cover junior secondary students. RTHK broadcast these programmes on their stations during non-peak daytime hours, but now distributes them online instead. While school programmes covering the topics of English, Chinese and Mandarin Chinese
Drainage Services Department
The Drainage Services Department is a department of the Hong Kong Government responsible for drainage and sewerage. Since 2007 it has been subordinate to the Development Bureau; the department is responsible for stormwater drainage, sewage collection and treatment, flood prevention. Environmental protection was one of the main concerns of former governor David Wilson. Wilson stressed the importance of better planning, increased control of pollution discharges, large-scale investment in improved sewage disposal infrastructure, he stated that Hong Kong needed more treatment facilities and new outfalls constructed sufficiently far out to sea, promoted a new department to help achieve this. The Drainage Services Department was established in 1989; the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme is a major sewage treatment infrastructure improvement scheme designed to improve the water quality of Victoria Harbour. Called the Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme, the plan was drawn up in 1989 and construction of HATS Stage 1 commenced in 1994.
It comprises a system of deep tunnels to convey sewage from eight Preliminary Treatment Works to the Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works, which opened in 1997. The full Stage I system, which treats 75% of the sewage generated by the urban areas around the harbour, came online in December 2001. Construction of HATS Stage 2 commenced in 2008, stage 2A was commissioned in 2015. HATS Stage 2B, comprising an underground biological treatment facility at Stonecutters Island, has been shelved as it is felt that the existing facility is sufficient at this time; the department has built several significant bored tunnels designed to intercept water running down mountain slopes and divert it from urban areas in order to prevent flooding. The largest of these is the Hong Kong West Drainage Tunnel, comprising an 11-kilometre long main tunnel and 8 km of adits, it stretches from Tai Hang in the east to an outfall just north of Cyberport. It was built at a cost of HK$3.4 billion. Construction commenced in November 2007 and the tunnel was commissioned on 22 August 2012.
The Lai Chi Kok Drainage Tunnel encircles Lai Chi Kok. It is a 3.7-kilometre tunnel, stretching from Shek Kip Mei to an outfall near Stonecutters Island, built at a cost of $1.7 billion. Construction commenced in November 2008 and the tunnel was commissioned on 18 October 2012; the Tsuen Wan Drainage Tunnel protects the Tsuen Wan New Kwai Chung areas. The 5.1-kilometre tunnel begins at Wo Yi Hop, north of Kwai Chung, curves around the north of Tsuen Wan proper. Past Chai Wan Kok, it parallels the Tuen Mun Highway a short distance and empties into the Rambler Channel. Construction of the $1.5 billion tunnel commenced in 2007. It was commissioned on 28 March 2013; the department operates two sludge transport vessels, called Clean Harbour 1 and Clean Harbour 2. These ships transport sludge from the Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works to the sludge treatment facility in Tuen Mun; the ships are equipped with gantry cranes capable of lifting sludge from the lorries directly into containers on board, can lift 10 containers per hour.
Each ship can carry 90 containers of a total of 1,200 tons of sludge. The vessels were built by Jinhui Shipbuilding of Zhongshan and commissioned in 2015. Category: container ship Maritime Mobile Service Identification Number: 477 995 437 IMO No: 9708277 Official number: HK-4292 Callsign: VROH7 Net Tonnage: 657 tons Gross tonnage: 1971 tons Commissioning date: 5 March 2015 Category: container ship Maritime Mobile Service Identification Number: 477 995 441 IMO No: 9708289 Official number: HK-4305 Callsign: VROJ4 Net Tonnage: 657 tons Gross tonnage: 1971 tons Commissioning date: 5 March 2015 Fung, K. W.. W.. K.. K.. Sewerage and Flood Protection: Drainage Services 1841-2008. Hong Kong: Drainage Services Department. Liu, Tik-sang. Scott, Janet L. ed. Going the Extra Miles. Hong Kong: Drainage Services Department. Official website
Law of Hong Kong
The law of Hong Kong is based on the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. The constitutional framework is provided by the Hong Kong Basic Law, a national law of the People's Republic of China. Under the principle of ‘one country, two systems’, Hong Kong has its own legal system, distinct from the Law of the People's Republic of China, based on the combination of English common law and local legislation codified in the Laws of Hong Kong. Hong Kong has a common law system. Only a small number of PRC laws apply in Hong Kong by virtue of stipulations in Article 18 and Annex III of the Basic Law; the separation of the Hong Kong legal system from the PRC is guaranteed constitutionally until at least 2047. The Hong Kong judiciary has had a longstanding reputation for fairness and was rated as the best judicial system in Asia by one survey in 2008. Administrative law in Hong Kong is modelled on its counterpart in England and Wales the law of judicial review; this applies both to the procedure and grounds of judicial review, though there is some divergence in various areas.
Some aspects of administrative law, for example administrative tribunals, were modelled on their counterparts in England and Wales but have not been systematically reformed for decades. The Hong Kong Basic Law contains the essentials of the constitutional framework in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Article 8 stipulates that all laws in force before 1997, including "the common law, rules of equity, subordinate legislation and customary law shall be maintained, except for any that contravene this Law, subject to any amendment by the legislature of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region." Article 18 states, that national laws, from the People's Republic of China do not apply, except for a specific list in Annex III to the Basic Law, to which the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress can add or delete what it chooses. However, this may only be in the fields of "defence and foreign affairs as well as other matters outside the limits of the autonomy of the Region as specified by this Law."
It has a derogation, in a war situation, for a state of emergency to be declared. Hence, the laws in force are in hierarchical order. 12 PRC laws apply in the HKSAR. These national laws apply in Hong Kong by the Hong Kong legislature legislating on the same matter: for example, the Law of the People's Republic of China on the National Flag, a Chinese statute, takes effect in Hong Kong in form of the National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance, a local statute enacted by the local legislature; the Basic Law contains provisions. Any laws that contravene the Basic Law are of no effect. Hong Kong has a Bill of Rights Ordinance, the local adaptation of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. Laws have been passed to ensure the human rights protected in the Basic Law and the Bill of Rights, such as the Personal Data Ordinance, Disability Discrimination Ordinance, Family Status Discrimination Ordinance, Sex Discrimination Ordinance and Race Discrimination Ordinance. Family law in Hong Kong is modelled on its counterpart in England and Wales with important modifications.
Ancillary ReliefHong Kong does not have a statutory matrimonial property regime. There is no system of ‘community of property’ and property rights are not in principle affected by marriage. Instead, the family courts have broad discretion to make a range of financial orders upon a decree of divorce pursuant to the "Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance", namely for: periodical payments, secured periodical payments, lump sum payments, transfers or sale of property, settlement of property, variation of settlements. There are powers to make orders for maintenance pending suit once divorce proceedings have begun; these are interim measures. In making final financial orders in favour of a spouse, courts are guided by four principles: the objective of fairness, rejection of discrimination, the yardstick of equal division, rejection of minute retrospective investigation, they are required to consider the following non-exhaustive list of factors (see see section 7 of the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance.
Child CustodyThe family courts have broad jurisdiction to deal with the welfare of children under the provisions of the "Guardianship of Minors Ordinance", the "Separation and Maintenance Orders Ordinance", the "Matrimonial Causes Ordinance" and the "Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance". Additionally, the High Court's has broad powers under its inherent jurisdiction including wardship. In parental disputes the courts are concerned with making orders for custody and control, access; these orders are distinct from questions of financial responsibility for children. Access is the right to have contact with the child, it may be supervised.