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Legal Advice Given by the Justice Department to Environmental Protection Department on Two Specific Projects

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Dear Department of Justice,

I write to request for a copy of the legal advice, or a summary or extract of the legal advice given by the Justice to Environmental Protection Department, according to the SAR government's Code on Access to Information, for the following two specific road projects:

Improvement to Tung Chung Road between Lung Tseng Tau and Cheung Sha"project (Tung Chung Road project)
Improvement of Hiram’s Highway Stage II from Marina Cove to Sai Kung Town"project (Hiram's Highway Stage 2 project)

The reason for requesting the information is for me to confirm and verify what I have been informed by EPD is true or not, which is about the legal basis of EPD's decisions on the status of these two projects under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance, i.e. Tung Road project shall be a Designated Project, while Hiram's Highway Stage 2 project shall not be a Designated Project. EPD claimed that their decisions considered the legal advice of the Justice Department.

EPD has failed to provide the information as requested without giving any valid reasons so far, including how this shall not violate my constitutional and legal rights to demand access to government information which may affect me, and information with public interest implication, under the Basic Law Article 38, and Article 39 with respect to civil and political rights. This is also a matter of equality before the law (a.k.a. rule of law), therefore, it is illegal for EPD officials to put themselves above the law, by unlawfully withholding information I am entitled to access, and obstructing justice.

I look forward to hearing your reply.

Yours faithfully,

K Chan

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1 cd, 律政司

Dear K Chan,
I refer to your email of 6 March 2019 to the Department of Justice (“DoJ”)
requesting for access to the following information:

-        a copy of the legal advice, or a summary or extract of the legal
advice given by DoJ to the Environmental Protection Department on:-
 
(i) Improvement to Tung Chung Road between Lung Tseng Tau and Cheung Sha
project (Tung Chung Road project); and

(ii)Improvement of Hiram’s Highway Stage II from Marina Cove to Sai Kung
Town project (Hiram's Highway Stage 2 project).                
DoJ is the legal adviser of the Government of the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region (“the Government”).  All legal advice provided to
the Government Bureaux/Departments is subject to legal professional
privilege.
According to paragraphs 2.1 and 2.6(d) of the Code on Access to
Information (“the Code”), a department may refuse to disclose information
which would be privileged from production in legal proceedings on the
ground of legal professional privilege.  In the circumstances, we are
unable to accede to your request.
Please be informed that under the Code, you have a right to seek an
internal review of our decision not to accede to your request. Our address
is 2/F, Main Wing and East Wing, Justice Place, 18 Lower Albert Road,
Central, Hong Kong. You may also complain to The Ombudsman. The
Ombudsman's address is: -

30/F, China Merchants Tower
Shun Tak Centre
168-200 Connaught Road Central
Hong Kong

Telephone : (852) 2629 0555
Fax : (852) 2882 8149
Regards,
Maggie OR
Executive Officer (Civil Division) 1
Department of Justice

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