Foreign Expert Panel quits Independent Police Complaints Council in Hong Kong

Original article from Bloomberg and WSJ

11th December 2019 – (Hong Kong) A panel of foreign experts who were recruited to oversee objectivity of a probe into allegations of excessive force by Hong Kong police has stepped down after raising concerns that the body leading the probe doesn’t have sufficient powers and investigative capabilities, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

  • Panel exited after concerns not addressed
    • Among limitations: Independent Police Complaints Council can’t summon witnesses or compel police to provide evidence, WSJ says; public complaints must also be filed with police first before they are passed on to IPCC
    • Panel decided to step aside after talks with IPCC failed to yield an agreement on a process in which the experts could support probe.

The foreign-expert panel said it remained “committed to supporting and engaging with the IPCC, if and when it develops the necessary capabilities and provides its draft interim report on the protests, confrontations and policing of events between June and September 2019.”

The panel is headed by Sir Denis O’Connor, who was previously Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary in the U.K.

The others are Justice Michael Adams, chief commissioner of the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission in New South Wales, Australia; Judge Colin Doherty, chair of the Independent Police Conduct Authority in New Zealand; and Gerry McNeilly, former head of the Office of the Independent Police Review Director in Ontario, Canada.