August 13, 2022

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Legal With Effect

principals, instructors could be liable for pupil breaches if they fail to intervene



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Secondary school students form a human chain in protest against the government in 2019. Photo: May Tse


© SCMP
Secondary university college students type a human chain in protest in opposition to the federal government in 2019. Image: May Tse

Principals and lecturers can be held accountable if they ignore or fail to prevent violations of the countrywide protection legislation by their pupils, Hong Kong’s training minister has claimed in describing controversial new recommendations for schools masking the Beijing-imposed laws.

Secretary for Instruction Kevin Yeung Yun-hung on Friday also claimed whilst the new guidelines referred to as for schools to advise police when major protest-linked routines occurred on campus, instructors were the very first line of defence in defusing prospective concerns.

Yeung’s remarks came a working day after his bureau issued a set of files on the stability law covering almost everything from university administration and curriculum to students’ conduct and the responsibilities of school in relation to the legislation.

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a close up of a man wearing a blue shirt: Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung on Friday said school faculty could potentially bear legal responsibility for the acts of their students. Photo: Nora Tam


© Furnished by South China Morning Publish
Secretary for Instruction Kevin Yeung on Friday reported university faculty could likely bear legal duty for the acts of their college students. Photograph: Nora Tam

The new guidelines abide by the arrest of hundreds of pupils for illegal assembly and avenue violence all through the months-prolonged anti-federal government protests that started out in June 2019, and the implementation of the countrywide security regulation on June 30 last yr.

Pupils as youthful as six are to find out the law’s basic ideas as effectively as the names of its 4 specified offences – subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with international forces – whilst schools are to simply call police over “grave or crisis” conditions these types of as pupils chanting or displaying slogans, singing political tunes or forming human chains.

Hong Kong universities supplied sweeping rules on nationwide protection legislation

“In eventualities in which pupils’ chant slogans or their activities are clearly endangering nationwide protection, if schools are mindful (of their obligations) and still do not get any action, they would then be not executing their component … underneath the pointers and the regulation,” Yeung told a radio programme on Friday.

He reported inaction was the equivalent of providing consent for pupils to proceed their functions.

“No matter if (faculty workers) would bear any authorized accountability would depend on the proof available and the court’s determination. But it’s apparent that if they know what to do but pick out not to do it, that is evidently problematic,” he extra.

He also reiterated that the protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong revolution of our occasions”, chanted usually amid the 2019 unrest, was banned on campuses, as the governing administration experienced considered it a separatist slogan.

Even when pupils in uniform form human chains outside university gates – and hence are not technically on campus – directors however experienced a duty to reduce it from going on, he said.

Underneath the new rules, faculties are advised to intervene and stop any actions that involve political propaganda, but can decide on to consult with law enforcement neighborhood relations officers about acts they suspect are unlawful in advance of calling the drive.

Yeung on Friday stated that consulting law enforcement neighborhood officers “did not always suggest” pupils would be arrested.

“Even when educational institutions (consulted) police, I think the force’s managing is not definitely rigid … There can be softer methods of approaching (the difficulty),” he explained.

“No a single would want to arrest all (pupils).”

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