|Department of Justice
The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
G/F, Main Wing, Justice Place, 18 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong
Enquiries : 2867 2198
Fax : 3918 4249
The Administration & Development Division provides essential support for the effective functioning of the Department. The support covers areas including human resources, financial management, training, library services and information technology (IT). This is provided by a team of administrative staff including managers, accounting and translation officers, library staff, IT personnel, secretaries, clerical officers and other support staff.
The people who work for the Department are its most valuable asset. An important aspect of the Division’s human resources function is to attract and retain talents. This objective is achieved through:
A key part of this function is the running of the Department’s Legal Trainee Scheme. The Scheme enables Postgraduate Certificate in Laws graduates from local universities or serving civil servants in the legal/judicial group of departments who hold recognised qualifications to complete in the Department the practical training required before qualifying as barristers or solicitors. Trainees of the Scheme have unique opportunities to work with other government bureaux/departments, law enforcement agencies and outside counsel. Ten law graduates joined the Scheme each in 2012 and 2013, and 12 in 2014. The number of applications on each occasion greatly exceeded the number of places.
In addition, the Department conducted open recruitment exercises annually to recruit Government Counsel on civil service terms to bring in fresh blood. A total of 28, 29 and 27 candidates were offered appointment in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. The Department also recruits summer interns under a Post-Secondary Student Summer Internship Programme. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, 23, 24 and 38 summer interns were accepted respectively.
Effective financial management is important for ensuring that the available financial resources are put to the best use. Annual estimates are prepared taking into account the different needs of the various divisions and financial performance is closely monitored. The exercise of prudent financial principles ensures that the Department’s services are delivered within budget.
The Department places emphasis on continuous learning, so as to maintain the quality of work performed by its colleagues. The Division plays an important part in organising a wide range of training activities to help colleagues acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to perform more effectively and for career development. From 2012 to 2014, a total of 7 159 places on various kinds of training and development programmes were taken up by colleagues. Legal, management and communication training was organised in-house, as well as provided by the Civil Service Training and Development Institute and outside experts. Counsel and para-legal officers were also sponsored to attend law-related courses run outside office hours.
To keep abreast of the latest legal developments, counsel and para-legal officers participated in a wide range of law seminars, conferences and law-related training programmes. Continuous efforts were also made to strengthen understanding of the law and the legal environment in the Mainland. Counsel were nominated to attend national studies courses held at Tsinghua University, Peking University and the Chinese Academy of Governance, as well as foreign affairs study programmes and thematic study programmes in the Mainland. In 2013, 12 counsel attended the Mainland Legal Studies Course for Government Lawyers of the HKSAR at Peking University. In 2014, 18 para-legal staff attended the China Law Course at the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou. In addition, eight counsel undertook training attachments to justice bureaux in the Mainland from 2012 to 2014.
The Department of Justice library was set up in 1953 and currently houses more than 80 000 publications. The collection is renowned for its strength in HKSAR legal materials and Commonwealth legislation. To facilitate legal research, online library catalogue and subscribed electronic databases are accessible at the library’s intranet site.
The Information Technology Management Unit is responsible for managing the Department’s IT systems and information resources. This includes the maintenance and periodic upgrade of existing IT systems, implementation of new projects and planning for future IT needs.
The unit also provides helpdesk services to provide various IT related services and handle requests from users. It provides training to colleagues on the proficient use of the Department’s IT systems.
The Department’s network links around 1 200 users across 26 different floors or separate locations. All permanent staff in the Department have access to either dedicated or shared personal computers equipped with modern office automation functions for word-processing, document management, printing, fax, electronic mail and internet access. Remote access to the Department’s network and facilities is available.
Bilingual Laws Information System (BLIS): This system enables users to view and search HKSAR’s legislation in both Chinese and English. BLIS is available free to the public on the internet in three versions, including English, traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese. BLIS has proved to be very popular since its introduction and has now an average of around 6 300 “hits” per day. The contents of BLIS can also be displayed in a userfriendly way on popular mobile devices.
Department of Justice website: This website provides a wealth of information on our legal system and the work of the Department. The public can find information regarding the latest news of the Department. To tie in with the government-wide Web Accessibility Campaign, the Department’s homepage, BLIS and its related websites were revamped in 2013 to adopt the latest version (Version 2.0) of World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Level AA standard with a view to enhancing user-friendliness.
Two organisations within the Department, the Staff Club and the Mess, provide staff with a range of social activities to help enhance team spirit and interaction among colleagues.
The Staff Club aims to promote friendship and a sense of belonging among serving and former staff of the Department.
The Staff Club is run by an Executive Committee composed of representatives from different levels of officers in the Department. It organises various activities every year, including interest classes on tai-chi, yoga, dancing, flower arrangements, etc, annual events such as Christmas lunch party and spring dinner, as well as outdoor visits and volunteer services.
In 2012 and 2014, the Staff Club took part in the Corporate Games. Participants enjoyed the support and companionship of fellow colleagues in the various events enrolled, and competed in the Games with admirable endeavours, and getting gratifying results including numerous championships and medals in swimming (2012 & 2014), snooker (2012) and tennis (2014).
The Mess provides a place for counsel to discuss cases and other matters which concern them during the working day, and to relax in friendly surroundings after office hours.
There is a Mess Committee which organises various functions and activities to foster an environment of collegiate support.
A tradition has been maintained whereby departing members entertain colleagues to drinks and light refreshments in the Mess and are presented with a memento such as a personally engraved mug or plaque. From time to time, the Prosecutions Division also hosts Mess Nights, to which judges and lawyers in private practice are invited. Members also “ring the bell” when there are occasions providing sufficient cause for celebration, such as promotions and important appointments.