Henry Litton

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Henry Denis Litton CBE, GBM (Chinese transliteration: 列顯倫) (born 7 August 1934) is a retired judge in Hong Kong.

Born into a Eurasian family in Hong Kong, Henry Litton excelled in school during his early years in England and was educated at King's College, Taunton and Merton College, Oxford, where he graduated with honours in jurisprudence.[1]

After passing the Bar exam in 1959, Litton entered into private practice in Hong Kong where he was eminently successful as a trial lawyer. He headed his own set of chambers, of which Andrew Cheung - current Chief Judge of the High Court - was once a member. Litton was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1970 and co-founded the Hong Kong Law Journal with Gerald de Basto QC, another local barrister. He also served as Chairman of the Bar Association from 1971 to 1973, from 1977 to 1980 and again from 1983 to 1985.

Litton was appointed in 1987 an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his contribution to the law[2] and was elevated to the bench in 1992 as a Justice of Appeal. He rose steadily through the ranks, becoming Vice-President of the Court of Appeal in 1995 and a Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal (Hong Kong's court of last resort) in 1997, when British colonial rule in Hong Kong ended and China resumed its sovereignty over the region.

He assumed senior status three years later, citing personal reasons. Until 2015, he continued to hear cases on a part-time basis as a non-permanent judge of the Court he served.[3][4]

In 2007, Litton was appointed a Judicial Commissioner, as well as a Justice of Appeal, of the Supreme Court of Brunei Darussalam.[5]

Mr. Justice Litton is known to be a great advocate of environmentalism; his wife Linda Siddall was a founder and Director of Friends of the Earth (HK)[6] and Litton himself its patron. Litton is also an avid player of tennis. Litton's son John continues the family's legal eminence, practising at the London and Hong Kong bar since 1989, taking silk in 2010.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Levens, R.G.C., ed. (1964). Merton College Register 1900-1964. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 446. 
  2. ^ "No. 50948". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 1987. p. 15. 
  3. ^ Patsy Moy (9 April 2010). "Called to the Court of Final Appeal". The Standard. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  4. ^ "Mr Henry Denis LITTON, GBM". Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "Brunei Darussalam Newsletter (Volume 22, Issue 29)" (PDF). Brunei Darussalam Prime Minister's Office (Department of Information). 2007-05-15. p. 4. 
  6. ^ Yun-Wing Sung; Anthony Lawrence; Lok Sang Ho (22 January 1991). The Other Hong Kong Report 1991. Chinese University Press. p. 403. ISBN 9622015387. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Gerald de Basto
Chairman of Hong Kong Bar Association
1971–1973
Succeeded by
Gerald de Basto
Preceded by
Charles Ching
Chairman of Hong Kong Bar Association
1977–1980
Succeeded by
Martin Lee
Preceded by
Martin Lee
Chairman of Hong Kong Bar Association
1983–1985
Succeeded by
Denis Chang
New office Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal
1997–2000
Served alongside: Charles Ching, Kemal Bokhary
Succeeded by
Patrick Chan
Order of precedence
Previous:
John B. Mortimer
Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal
Hong Kong order of precedence
Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal
Succeeded by
Frank Stock
Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal