21st August 2013 – New Territories Free Legal Advice Talk
In order to help the local community understand the options available to them after receiving demolition notices from the Housing Department, the Concern Group held a free legal advice talk on 21st August and invited a team of pro-bono lawyers from the Butterflyers Association to provide free legal advice.
The talk began with a welcome message from the Chairman of the NT Concern Group, Mr. Tang Yung Yiuwho explained the aims and establishment of the group. The Vice-Chairman of the NT Concern Group Mr.Tsang Shu Wo then provided a report on the work accomplished by the NT Concern Group during the past year to those present. The Vice-Chairman also expressed his views against the use of violence to achieve political ends.
Afterwards, Mr. Junius Ho, a Hong Kong Solicitor, explained to the villagers about the legal problems in relation to the New Territories Unauthorised Building Works, the Concern Group believes that the Government’s legal enforcement against villagers is unreasonable and without basis. Firstly, Small Houses have always been approved by the Lands Department and therefore Unauthorised Building Works should also be dealt with by the Lands Department and not the Housing Department. Secondly, the Government’s Reporting Scheme is only dealing with those villagers who have registered for Unauthorised Building Works first before all others which show obvious unfairness and violation of ones rights and the rule of law.
Mr. Ho then explained to the villagers that if they received the demolition notice they can go through administration procedures and judicial procedures to protect their own rights and even use this opportunity to buy time. Nearing the end of the talk Mr. Ho and a team of pro-bono lawyers from the Butterflyers Association provided legal advice to the participants which resolved their problems.