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Macao's judicial system being improved: court chief

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-12-10 20:36

MACAO -- The judicial system in the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) has been improved and perfected since Macao's return to China in 1999, President of the Court of Final Appeal Sam Hou-fai said.

"An independent judicial system commensurate with the SAR's condition has been established under the 'one country, two systems ' policy and the Basic Law of Macao," Sam told Xinhua on the eve of the 15th anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland on Dec 20.

Sam, 52, became president of the Court of Final Appeal in 1999.

Prior to the return, Macao's judicial system, a sub-judiciary district of the Portuguese legal system, was affiliated to the Judiciary District of Lisbon, according to the court chief.

To build an independent judicial system in Macao, China's National People's Congress, the Preparatory Committee of the Macao SAR, the chief executive and the Legislative Assembly of the SAR have made great efforts, which resulted in the emergence of a three-level court system, Sam recalled.

They also endeavored to draft laws on the judicial organization framework and judicial officials, and form panels to select and train legal staff and professionals, and offered financial and administrative support.

"The measures have ensured that the SAR's judicial system accords with the principle of 'one country, two systems' and ' Macao people governing Macao' with a high degree of autonomy," Sam said.

One of the major tasks for Macao's judicial system after its return is to accurately interpret and apply the Basic Law of Macao so as to fully implement the "one country, two systems" policy, he said.

In June 2004, the Court of Final Appeal ruled that international treaties and conventions are applied in the Macao SAR under the Basic Law rather than the Civil Code.

In July 2007, the court decided in a ruling that the chief executive can issue executive orders with the authority vested in him by no other than the Basic Law.

"We have won the deserved place and respect for the judicial system in Macao over the past 15 years because we're always trying to seek the fair justice as an ultimate goal in our judicial practices and reforms," said Sam.

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