Hong Kong will build a “mega courtroom” for cases involving a large number of defendants as part of efforts to alleviate a shortage of space, leader Carrie Lam announced during the last policy address of her current term on Wednesday.

Work on the mega-courtroom and additional supporting facilities at the District Court building in Wanchai Tower will begin in the first half of next year.

Wanchai Tower. File photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

The new facilities aim to ease the city’s courtroom shortage ahead of a new District Court building set to be constructed at the end of 2027.

The formerly de-commissioned Tsuen Wan Law Courts Building will be reopened.

Police have arrested some 10,200 people since the start in June 2019 of major protests against an extradition bill proposed by Lam.

Policy Address 2021. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

In the 15 months since a Beijing-drafted security law was enacted, 154 people have been arrested under it, whilst 96 of them have been charged. Among the total are 47 democrats charged in February with “conspiracy to commit subversion” over an informal election poll in July 2020.

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Rhoda Kwan

Rhoda Kwan is HKFP's Assistant Editor. She has previously written for TimeOut Hong Kong and worked at Meanjin, a literary journal. She holds a double bachelor’s degree in Law and Literature from the University of Hong Kong.