Higher fees proposed for jurors and witnesses The judiciary is proposing the first increase in fees in 12 years for jurors and ordinary witnesses in court cases. It suggests their daily allowance be increased by 22 per cent, from HK$280 to HK$340. Witnesses who spend only half a day in court should be paid HK$170, a rise of HK$30, it says. Professional and expert witnesses should get a 21 per cent fee increase, to HK$2,040 a day, or half that amount for half a day. The changes, which would cost an additional HK$1.3 million a year, require legislators' approval. Veteran appointed chief of Legco Secretariat Pauline Ng Man-wah has been appointed secretary general of the Legislative Council Secretariat. Now its assistant secretary general, Ms Ng, 57, will begin a three-year stint in the post on September 29. Legco president Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai said Ms Ng was selected through an open recruitment exercise. Since last month Ms Ng has been helping with planning and design work for the new Legco complex to built on the waterfront Tamar site in Admiralty. She joined the Legco Secretariat in 1994 after serving the government for 22 years. Pact signed on mutual assistance Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong signed an agreement on mutual legal assistance on criminal matters with Japan's consul general, Shigekazu Sato. The pact allows police and judicial authorities in each jurisdiction to help the other in proceedings related to the seizure and confiscation of the proceeds of crime or of tools used to commit crimes, and to extradite witnesses and people who can assist inquiries. Weather site wins award The World Weather Information Service website (worldweather.wmo.int/), which is run by the Hong Kong Observatory on behalf of the United Nations' World Meteorological Organisation, has won the environment category in this year's Stockholm Challenge awards for information technology.