Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong

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Chief Justice of Hong Kong [1] or erroneously Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong (Chinese: 首席按察司, later 首席大法官) was the most senior judge in the court system in Hong Kong until 1997.

Supreme Court of Hong Kong[edit]

The Supreme Court of Hong Kong existed from 1844 when British civilian control of Hong Kong commenced until 1997 when Hong Kong was returned to China. Throughout its existence, only one Chief Justice, Sir Ti-liang Yang, was Chinese; the remainder were all British.

Renaming of Supreme Court and Title in 1997[edit]

In 1997 the Supreme Court of Hong Kong was renamed the High Court of Hong Kong. The position was accordingly renamed as Chief Judge of the High Court, while the role of head of the Hong Kong Judiciary was assumed by the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal. The Court of Final Appeal was establish to replace the role of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as Hong Kong's final appellate court.

List of Pre-1997 Chief Justices[edit]

The following table lists former Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong prior to 1997. See the High Court of Hong Kong for a list of Chief Judges of the High Court.

Picture Name Tenure Notes
John Walter Hulme.png John Walter Hulme 1844-1860 First Chief Justice of Hong Kong. Practising barrister in England. Retired on a Pension.
William Henry Adams.jpg William Henry Adams 1860-1865 Appointed Attorney General of Hong Kong. Immediately acted as Chief Justice due to Hulme being on sick leave. Appointed to substantive position on Hulme's retirement. Died in office.
Sir John Jackson Smale.jpg Sir John Jackson Smale 1866-1881 Attorney General of Hong Kong from 1861 to 1866. Retired on a pension.
Sir George Phillippo 1882-1888 Attorney General of Hong Kong from 1876 to 79. Chief Justice of Gibraltar from 1879 to 1882. Retired on a pension.
Sir James Russell 1888-1892 Puisne Judge of Supreme Court of Hong Kong from 1883 to 1888. Retired due to ill health.
Sir Fielding Clarke.jpg Sir Fielding Clarke 1892-1896 Chief Justice of Fiji prior to appointment. Became Chief Justice of Jamaica.
Sir John Worrell Carrington.jpg Sir John Carrington 1896-1901 Attorney General of British Guiana prior to appointment. Retired on a Pension.
William Meigh Goodman.jpg Sir W. Meigh Goodman 1902-1905 Attorney General of Hong Kong from 1889 to 1902. Retired due to ill health.
Francis Taylor Piggott.jpg Sir Francis Piggott 1905-1912 Procureur-General of Mauritius prior to appointment. Compulsorily retired. Commenced practice as junior counsel at bar in Hong Kong.
William Rees-Davies.png Sir William Rees-Davies 1912-1924 Attorney General of Hong Kong from 1907 to 1912. Retired on a pension.
Henry Cowper Gollan.jpg Sir Henry Gollan 1924-1930 Attorney General of Ceylon prior to appointment. Retired on a pension.
Click Here Sir Joseph Kemp 1930-1933 Puisne Judge Supreme Court of Hong Kong from 1913 to 1915. Attorney General of Hong Kong from 1915 to 1930. Retired on a pension.
Atholl MacGregor, Chief Justice of Hong Kong.png Sir Atholl MacGregor 1934-1945 Attorney General of Kenya prior to appointment. Interned in Stanley Internment Camp, WWII. Died immediately after war en route to England.
Click Here Sir Henry Blackall 1946-1948 Chief Justice of Trinidad and Tobago prior to appointment. Later was appointed President of the West African Court of Appeals.
Sir Leslie Gibson 1948-1951 Attorney General of Palestine prior to appointment. Later served as legal adviser to the Foreign Office.
Gerard Howe.png Sir Gerard Howe 1951-1955 Attorney General of Nigeria prior to appointment. Died in office.
Click Here Sir Michael Hogan 1955-1970 Attorney General of Malaya prior to appointment. Picture shows Hogan at opening of 1967 Assizes.
Click Here Sir Ivo Rigby 1970-1973 Senior Puisne Judge, Hong Kong, 1961-1970. Picture shows Rigby heading parade at opening of 1970 Assizes
Click Here Sir Geoffrey Briggs 1973-1978 Puisne Judge, Hong Kong 1965-1973. Briggs is the second judge behind Chief Justice Rigby in the photo.
Click Here Sir Denys Roberts 1979-1988 Attorney General of Hong Kong from 1966 to 1973. Colonial/Chief Secretary from 1973 to 1979.
Click Here Sir Ti-liang Yang 1988-1996 First Chinese Chief Justice. Resigned to contest position of Chief Executive of Hong Kong.
Click Here Sir Noel Power 1996-1997 (Acting) Acting CJ pending handover of Hong Kong to China 1997. Vice President of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong.

See also[edit]

References[edit]