Solicitor General of Hong Kong

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The Solicitor General of Hong Kong (Chinese: 法律政策專員) is head of the Legal Policy Division of the Department of Justice (Chinese: 律政司) in Hong Kong. He (to date no woman has held the post) is responsible for the development of legal policy, advising the Secretary for Justice (called the Attorney General before 1997) on legal issues, and overseeing the department's staff and legislative programme.

History of the Role[edit]

The position of Solicitor General in Hong Kong was created after the end of World War II.[1] The Solicitor General acted as the deputy of the Attorney General and regularly appeared in court.

In 1979, the roles of Law Draftsman, Law Officer (Civil) and Crown Prosecutor (called from the inception of the position Director of Public Prosecutions) were created. The position of Solicitor General was abolished. It was reinstated in 1981 with the Solicitor General being put in charge of legal policy.[2]

The Secretary for Justice is now assisted by 5 law officers, namely:

Current position holder[edit]

The current Solicitor General is Frank Poon Ying-kwong.

Remuneration for the post, as advertised in 2000, was HK$162,650 per month, together with housing allowance, 'leave passage allowance', and other benefits.[3]

List of Solicitors General[edit]

No. Office holder Term Notes
1 George E Strickland, QC[4] 1947-1952 Acting Attorney General prior to appointment
2 Arthur Hooton, QC[5] 1952-1961
3 Maurice Heenan, QC[6] 1961 Non-British-born (born in New Zealand). Appointed Attorney General in 1961.
4 Denys Roberts QC 1962-1966 Appointed Attorney General in 1966. Later Colonial/Chief Secretary and Chief Justice.
5 Graham Sneath QC[7] 1966-1973
6 John Hobley, QC[8] 1973 Appointed Attorney General in 1973
7 Garth Thornton[9] 1973-1979 Author of Thorton's Legislative Drafting
None 1979-1981 Position abolished in 1979; reestablished in 1981.[10]
8 Ray Astin[11] 1981-1984 Full name was Ernest Raymond Astin
9 James Findlay, QC[12] 1984-1986 Later became Judge of the High Court.
10 Frank Stock, QC[13] 1987-1991 Became High Court Judge. Now Vice President of Court of Appeal
11 Bertrand de Speville[14][15] 1991-1993 British, born 16 June 1941, (Commissioner of ICAC, 1993-1996)
12 Daniel Richard Fung Wah-kin SC (馮華健)[16] 1994 - 30 Aug 1998
13 Robert Charles ("Bob") Allcock, SBS[17][18][19] 1999-2000 (acting)
17 Aug 2000 to Jan 2007
born c1947
13 Ian Wingfield, GBS[20][21] Jan 2007 to 2 Aug 2010 born c1949
14 Frank Poon Ying-kwong [22] 2 Aug 2010–present b c1956

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Para 6, Preamble to Paragraph 6 Legal Officers Bill, 1950, [ Legco Debate 22 February 1950
  2. ^ Hansard 22 October 1980, Speech by Peter Wong at p87 and Grenville Cross, "Directors Great and Small", Hong Kong Lawyer July 2011
  3. ^ DOJ advertisement for the post of Solicitor General, June 2000
  4. ^ R v Lo Sau King and others 1962 HKLR 299 at 307 to 308 and Mr George Strickland Lauded on Appointment as KC, China Mail, October 25, 1951, p1
  5. ^ R v Lo Sau King and others 1962 HKLR 299 at 307 to 308
  6. ^ Who's Who 2001, entry for Heenan
  7. ^ Hong Kong Who's Who, 1970-1973 entry for Sneath
  8. ^ Who's Who 1994 entry for Hobley
  9. ^ http://www.law.tulane.edu/uploadedFiles/Institutes_and_Centers/International_Legislative_Drafting_Institute/ILDI%20Garth%20Thornton%20Dedication%20(2).pdf
  10. ^ Speech By Peter C W Wong in Legco, Hansard 22 October 1980 at p87
  11. ^ Who's Who in Hong Kong 1984 entry for Astin. Full name is Ernest Raymond Astin
  12. ^ Findlay CV at http://www.aprag.org/downloads/cv/FINDLAY%20James.pdf
  13. ^ Judicial Appointment, 25 June 2009, Hong Kong Government press release
  14. ^ Kenya National Assembly Official Record (Hansard), 11 Jul 2000, p1515
  15. ^ Bertrand de Speville, interview (Indonesia)
  16. ^ Appointment to the post of Solicitor General, LC Paper No. CB(2)2359/99-00(03), 20 June 2000
  17. ^ Legal post 'no stepping stone', SCMP, 25 Oct 2000
  18. ^ Dept of Justice: Highlights of 2006 and 2007
  19. ^ Appointment of Solicitor General, 24 October 2000, Hong Kong Government press release]
  20. ^ Hong Kong democrats worry judicial independence won't last, New York Times, by Donald Greenlees, 29 June 2007
  21. ^ Effective Judicial Review - speaker notes, CUHK, 2008
  22. ^ Appointment of Solicitor General, 7 July 2010, Hong Kong Government press release