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. There were 12, 10 and 10 intakes of Legal Trainees in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively.
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 27, 32 and 44 candidates were offered appointment in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. The Department also recruits summer interns under a Post-Secondary Student Summer Internship Programme. In 2014, 2015 and 2016, 38, 52 and 42 summer interns were recruited 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. 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.
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.
Hong Kong e-Legislation(HKeL): HKeL is an electronic database established and updated by the Department of Justice. It delivers on the Government’s commitment to provide convenient and timely free public access to the law. For further details, please visit the HKeL website at www.elegislation.gov.hk.
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 website was revamped to adopt the version 2.1 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 dancing, Pilates, Qigong, etc., annual events such as Christmas lunch party and Spring Dinner, as well as volunteer services and outdoor visits. The Club also participates in the Corporate Games organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department regularly.
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.