Independent Police Complaints Council
The Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC, Chinese: 獨立監察警方處理投訴委員會) is a civilian body of the Government of Hong Kong, part of the two-tier system in which the Hong Kong Police Force investigates complaints made by the public against its members and the IPCC monitors those investigations.
|Independent body overview|
|Headquarters||Rooms 1006-10, 10/F|
China Resources Building
26 Harbour Road
|Annual budget||HK$95.9 million|
|Independent body executive|
|Independent Police Complaints Council|
The IPCC acts as an independent body to monitor the review by the Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO) of complaints against members of the Police Force. Unlike CAPO, which is a unit of the police force, the IPCC is a civilian body not linked with the police that reports directly to the office of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong.There have been criticisms in LegCo that the IPCC has limited monitoring power.
The IPCC was set up in 1986 as the Police Complaints Committee or PCC, which reported to the then-Governor of Hong Kong. The PCC was preceded by the UMELCO Police Group, a body within the Office of the Unofficial Members of the Executive and Legislative Councils. The PCC was renamed to its current name in 1994.
The IPCC is headed by a Secretariat and is governed by the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) Ordinance, which was enacted in July 2008. On 1 June 2009, after the ordinance came into operation, the Chinese official name of IPCC was changed from "投訴警方獨立監察委員會" to "獨立監察警方處理投訴委員會" while the English name remained the same.
- Deputy Secretary
- Legal Adviser
- Transitional Arrangements Team
- Senior PR Officer
- Case Teams (3)
- Planning and Support Teams
The IPCC Ordinance stipulates that the IPCC shall be formed by a chairman, three vice-chairmen, and no less than eight other members. All members are appointed by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. Persons holding an "office of emolument" within a government bureau or department, as well as former members of the police force, are not eligible to be appointed to the IPCC.
As of 4 September 2019, the IPCC had 29 members:
- Lisa LAU Man-man
- SO Lai-chun
- Eric CHENG Kam-chung
- Richard HO Kam-wing
- Herman Hui
- Edgar KWAN Chi-ping
- Barry CHIN Chi-yung
- José-Antonio MAURELLET
- Clement CHAN Kam-wing
- Wilson KWONG Wing-tsuen
- Ann AU Chor-kwan
- Alex CHU Wing-yiu
- Douglas LAM Tak-yip
- Sylvia LEE Hiu-wah
- David LEE Ka-yan
- Melissa Kaye PANG
- Shalini Shivan SUJANANI
- Martin WONG Chi-sang
- Johnny YU Wah-yung
- Anissa Chan
- Roland WONG Ka-yeung
- LEE Man-bun
- Jane Curzon LO
- Paul Lam Ting-kwok
- Helen Yu Lai Ching-ping
The IPCC, as noted by the UN Human Rights Committee in its Concluding Observations in 2013, has limited powers and lacks independence. It only has “advisory and oversight functions to monitor and review the activities of the CAPO” and its members are political appointees chosen by the Chief Executive. It neither has legal power to summon witnesses nor offers protection to the victims and witnesses.
Despite a considerable number of reportable complaints filed with the CAPO, only a small percentage of them were classified as substantiated. Between 2004 and 2018, CAPO received 6,412 complaints alleging police assault. Only four cases were substantiated by CAPO, while over half of the cases were dismissed without actionable conclusions. Between 2010 and 2018, among all of the cases on police misconduct substantiated by the IPCC, the police responded by referring only one case for prosecution, while officers in the majority of cases were only given "advice".
As members are directly appointed by the chief executive, the government has been accused of politicising the IPCC by appointing "police sympathisers". For instance, former chief executive Leung Chun-ying drew criticism for appointing Barry Chin Chi-yung to the council. Chin, a member of the pro-Beijing political group Silent Majority for Hong Kong, was an outspoken critic of the 2014 pro-democracy protests, which saw widespread allegations of police brutality.
- "Estimates for the year ending 31 March 2020" (PDF). The 2019–20 Budget. Hong Kong Government. 2019.
- Police complaints system - Government press release quoting reply by the Secretary for Security in LegCo, 14 Jan 09
- History, IPCC
- "Council membership". Independent Police Complaints Council. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
- "Appointments of new members to Independent Police Complaints Council". Hong Kong Government. 4 September 2019.
- "CCPR/C/CHN-HKG/CO/3" (PDF).
- "In full: An open letter to Hong Kong's leader calling for an investigation into police use of force". In full: An open letter to Hong Kong’s leader calling for an investigation into police use of force.
- Cheung, Karen (31 December 2015). "CY Leung appoints pro-Beijing member to police watchdog body IPCC". Hong Kong Free Press.