Key elements of Hong Kong national security law

Chief Executive Carrie Lam (centre) speaks to guests after a flag-raising ceremony to mark the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from Britain, on July 1, 2020.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam (centre) speaks to guests after a flag-raising ceremony to mark the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from Britain, on July 1, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING - The new Hong Kong national security law comprises 66 articles over six chapters and broadly outlines violations and their penalties. It also spells out the sweeping powers vested in new security agencies and departments aimed at uncovering and thwarting national security threats. Here is a look at some of the key elements of the legislation.

- The law punishes vaguely-worded crimes related to secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign countries, with penalties ranging from three years to life imprisonment.

- Suspects arrested for violating the law can be moved to China to be tried.

- A new national security division under the Police Force will have powers to search premises and electronic devices without a warrant, intercept communications and conduct covert surveillance of persons suspected for violating the law, and freeze or confiscate assets and property.

- A new national security agency set up in Hong Kong will not be subject to local jurisdiction.

- The law applies to foreigners who reside outside the territory.

- The new national security agency will be responsible for keeping in check foreign organisations including non-governmental organisations and news agencies.

- No one convicted under the law will be allowed to stand for any election in Hong Kong.

- Hong Kong's chief executive is required to submit reports and be accountable to the central government for national security matters.

- The chief executive will designate a group of judges to handle national security cases. Judges will serve for one year in each term and can be removed if they have made any statement or behaved in a way deemed to endanger national security.