Sonia Chan defends legality of ‘extradition agreement’ with Portugal

Secretary for Administration and Justice Sonia Chan

The agreement between Macau and Portugal on the surrender of fugitive offenders is legal and was done according to international rules and principles concerning such issues, said Secretary for Administration and Justice Sonia Chan. This was in response to concerns expressed by the Portuguese Bar Association (OA) last week over the agreement that was signed by the two governments.

The secretary reaffirmed her support for the agreement late last week when questioned by the media during a public event, adding that it was “compliant with the existing legal framework of each side.”

In late July, the OA said in a statement that the bilateral agreement signed in Lisbon on May 15 – already formalized in Macau through its publication in the Official Gazette – was potentially unconstitutional, violating fundamental and structural principles of the Portuguese Constitutional and Criminal Law.

According to a statement from Government Information Bureau, the secretary added that Macau had already completed the internal procedures required for the official implementation of the agreement. She said the government was currently awaiting notice from their Portuguese counterparts.

Chan also clarified that the extradition agreement would come into effect 30 days after local authorities receive notice of publication of the agreement in Portugal by the Portuguese government. According to the OA, the agreement has not been published yet and the association aims to prevent publication before a deeper analysis of the agreement’s constitutionality is done. RM

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