Civil Litigation Unit

Counsel of the Civil Litigation Unit act as instructing solicitors or advocates, as the case may be, representing the Government in the conduct of civil claims and disputes involving the Government. Some of the work has been briefed out to private practitioners as and when the circumstances required. As in previous years, public law cases (especially applications for judicial review), including claims under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and other claims for non-refoulement protection, have formed a major part of the unit’s work. Some of the more important cases among these are mentioned in the chapter on “Notable Cases”.

Apart from public law litigation, the unit handles a wide spectrum of other civil litigation on behalf of the Government, including personal injury cases, civil service matters, immigration matters, charities and trusts matters, revenue appeals, general recovery and enforcement of government debts, and monetary claims against the Government.

Another significant area of development is the use of mediation for resolving civil disputes. Following the Civil Justice Reform, the Practice Direction on Mediation issued by the Judiciary (Practice Direction 31) came into effect on 1 January 2010, which places a duty on parties to litigation and their legal representatives to assist the Court in furthering the underlying objectives of the Civil Justice Reform by using mediation.