Order now repealed
I AM happy to provide an official reply to Dan Chiu-lam's query (South China Morning Post, May 20).
Before the death penalty was abolished, anyone under the age of 18, who was convicted of murder, was ordered to be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure. When the death penalty was abolished earlier this year, the power to make such an order was repealed.
The Governor has the power to order the release of young offenders currently detained at Her Majesty's pleasure. The Board of Review, Long-Term Prison Sentences, which is chaired by a High Court Judge, reviews all long-term prison sentences, including young offenders detained at Her Majesty's pleasure.
Their cases are reviewed once a year until they reach the age of 21 and once every two years thereafter. Where it considers appropriate, the board will advise the Governor as to release. This system will continue for those currently detained.
K. J. WOODHOUSE Deputy Secretary for Security Government Secretariat