LAW REFORM COMMISSION’S CONSULTATION PAPERS ON ARCHIVES LAW AND ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION

The Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong released two consultation papers in December 2018 for views. These are on Archives Law and on Access to Information. The two subject matters are different but are related - the paper on Archives Law is to consult the public as to whether reform of the current public records management regime is needed; and if so, what kind of reform is to be preferred. The paper on Access to Information is to seek views from the public on whether the current regime relating to access by the public to information held by the government or public authorities should be reformed; and if so, in what way.

The above two consultation papers were reviewed by a working party of the Law Society on Data Privacy and Records Management. The Working Party comprises members coming from different specialist committees. They studied the consultation questions and produced two submissions in response. Among other things, in respect of the consultation question on exempt information (i.e. information be withheld from disclosure), the importance of Legal Professional Privilege was highlighted. In the submission, it was emphasized that Legal Professional Privilege remains a fundamental and constitutionally protected right in Hong Kong. It is not subject to any competing policy.

The submission on the Archives Law dated 13 March 2019 is at:

http://www.hklawsoc.org.hk/pub_e/news/submissions/20190313.pdf

The submission on the Access to Information (also dated 13 March 2019) is at:

http://www.hklawsoc.org.hk/pub_e/news/submissions/20190313a.pdf

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