Legal Department

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Legal Department
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Agency overview
Formed 1840s
Dissolved 1997
Jurisdiction Hong Kong
Headquarters Hong Kong
Minister responsible

The Legal Department (律政署), headed by the Attorney General, was the department responsible for the laws of Hong Kong until 1997, when Hong Kong ceased to be a British crown colony.

The department was responsible for dealing with criminal cases and cases on behalf of the Government of Hong Kong. Since 1997, the names of the department and the position has been renamed the Department of Justice and Secretary for Justice respectively.


The Attorney General's Office consisted of:

  • Prosecutions Division (Hong Kong) - the prosecution in the majority of Court of Appeals Instance and District Court
  • Civil Division - headed by the Law Officer (Civil Law), provided legal advice on civil law to all Government bureaux and departments and represented the Government both as solicitors and as barristers in all civil litigation, including arbitrations
  • Legal Policy Division - was responsible for drafting all Government legislation
  • Law Drafting Division - serviced the needs of the Solicitor General, and gave legal policy advice in respect of matters currently being considered by the Government
  • International Law Division - was headed by the Law Officer (International Law) and provided advice on public international law to the Government and negotiates, or provided legal advisers on negotiations, for bilateral agreements
  • Administration and Development Division - was headed by the Director of Administration and Development

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