Elsie Leung

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The Honourable
Elsie Leung Oi-sie
Elsie Leung.jpg
1st Secretary for Justice
In office
1 July 1997 – 20 October 2005
Succeeded by Wong Yan-Lung
Personal details
Born (1939-04-24) April 24, 1939 (age 77)
Hong Kong
Nationality Hong Kong
Political party Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong
Residence Hong Kong
Alma mater University of Hong Kong
Profession Solicitor
Elsie Leung
Traditional Chinese 梁愛詩
Simplified Chinese 梁爱诗

Elsie Leung Oi-sie, (GBM, JP, (Chinese: 梁愛詩, born on 24 April 1939, Hong Kong) was the Secretary for Justice of Hong Kong from 1997 to 2005, and was a member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong. She was succeeded by Wong Yan Lung, SC, on 20 October 2005.


Politics and government
of Hong Kong
Foreign relations
Related topics Hong Kong SAR Regional Emblem.svg Hong Kong portal


Leung's family originated from Nanhai region, Foshan, mainland China. Leung was born in Hong Kong, and was educated in Hong Kong, at Sacred Heart Canossian College (formerly known as Italian Convent School and Sacred Heart School) and the University of Hong Kong. Leung passed her Law Society Qualifying Examinations in 1967 and obtained her LLM degree from the University of Hong Kong in 1988. She is a past President of the International Federation of Women Lawyers.[1]

Legal career[edit]

Elsie Leung qualified as a solicitor and started practice in 1968. She was a partner of local law firm P. H. Sin & Co. and Iu, Lai & Li Solicitors (姚黎李律師行), specialising in divorce cases. She served on various government boards and committees, including the Independent Police Complaints Council, Equal Opportunities Commission, Social Welfare Advisory Committee and Inland Revenue Board of Review. She was also honorary legal adviser to many non-governmental organisations.

Political career[edit]

Leung was a founding member of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong ("DAB"). She was appointed as a Delegate of the People's Congress of Guangdong Province in 1989. In 1993, she was appointed as a Delegate of the 8th National People's Congress as well as a Hong Kong Affairs Adviser. In the period leading up to the handover, Leung advised the Chief Executive Designate of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on legal matters relating to the establishment of the HKSAR.

Secretary for Justice[edit]

On 1 July 1997, Leung became the first Secretary for Justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. She was the Chief Executive's chief legal adviser and an ex officio member of the Executive Council. She headed the Department of Justice which has a staff of over 1,000, of whom about 290 are lawyers.

She is currently the Chairman of the Law Reform Commission, the Committee on Bilingual Legal System, the Legal Practitioners' Liaison Committee and serves on numerous committees, including the Fight Crime Committee and the Operations Review Committee of the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Leung was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal in July 2002 for her "distinguished public service", and for her "significant contributions in ensuring the successful implementation of the new constitutional order under the One country, two systems concept". She retired from office in October 2005.


Leung was involved in controversy in 1999 when, as Secretary for Justice, she refused to prosecute Sally Aw over the circulation fraud at The Standard. The Hong Kong Bar Association accused her of being "careless" in her handling of the case for failing to ensure that justice was seen to be done.[2] The Democratic Party and the Liberal Party[3] backed legal-sector legislator Margaret Ng's motion of no-confidence. However, during the Legislative Council vote, the Liberal Party objected to government lobbying. It accused the Tung administration of applying "back door" pressure on them to support Leung. The Liberals abstained in the vote, and party deputy chairman Ronald Arculli staged a walk-out.[4]

The Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor supported calls for Leung to resign after her apparent bias in several China-related cases, in addition to her non-prosecution of Sally Aw. The incidents listed by the group include:

The Hong Kong government[who?] however expressed full confidence in Leung, saying that in all the above cases she had acted entirely in accordance with the Basic Law and the prosecution policy of the Department of Justice.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sacred Heart Canossian College Alumnae
  2. ^ Cliff Buddle (6 March 1999). "Bar takes swipe at Justice Secretary". The Standard. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  3. ^ Cheung Chi-fai (7 February 1999). "Clamour grows for Leung to resign". The Standard. Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  4. ^ Chris Yeung (17 March 1999). "Liberal leader aghast at way Tung's team solicited votes". The Standard. Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  5. ^ Mandy Luk (8 March 1999). "Rights call to remove Leung". The Standard. Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Jeremy Fell Mathews
as Attorney General of Hong Kong
Secretary for Justice
Succeeded by
Wong Yan-lung
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Yeung Kwong
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal
Hong Kong order of precedence
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal
Succeeded by
David Akers-Jones
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal