A career as Government Counsel in the Department of Justice offers a unique opportunity to apply and develop your professional ability in a diverse and challenging job, which would not be available in the private sector, including working with various bureaux, departments as well as enforcement agencies and participating in legal decisions and processes concerning matters of public importance. We invite applications from both newly qualified lawyers and those with experience. We offer considerable job satisfaction, competitive salaries and fringe benefits, with good prospects for promotion to higher positions. More information about the Government Counsel post can be found here.
The Government Counsel Grade comprises the following six ranks and the establishment as at 31 December 2019 is as follows –
|Rank||No. of posts|
|Law Officer (DL#6)||5|
|Principal Government Counsel (DL3)||17|
|Deputy Principal Government Counsel (DL2)||52|
|Assistant Principal Government Counsel (DL1)||14|
|Senior Government Counsel (MPS# Pt. 45-49)||237|
|Government Counsel (MPS Pt. 32-44)||148|
|#||"DL" denotes Directorate (Legal) Pay Scale|
|"MPS" denotes Master Pay Scale|
There are over 410 counsel in the Department of Justice. They may be deployed to undertaking criminal advocacy, civil litigation, legal advisory work (criminal, civil and public international law), bilingual legislative drafting, commercial law, mutual legal assistance and legal policy work. A career as a Government Counsel may include at different times postings in any of the legal divisions in the Department – Civil Division, International Law Division, Law Drafting Division, Legal Policy Division and Prosecutions Division – for operational or career development purposes.
Find out more about the Department's work at About us > Organisation.
Promotion will be made on the basis of character, ability, and experience. Depending on the merits of individual officers, generally a Government Counsel will be promoted to Senior Government Counsel in several years. The most capable and aspiring counsel will fill directorate positions in the longer run.
We attach great importance to staff development and training. To equip our counsel with the necessary knowledge and skills to discharge their duties more effectively and to prepare them for career advancement, we provide them with a wide range of training such as –
A new appointee to the Government Counsel rank will be appointed on civil service probationary terms for three years. Upon passage of probation bar, the officer may be considered for appointment on the prevailing permanent terms.
The entry pay for Government Counsel is the Master Pay Scale Point 32, currently $70,465. Subject to the prevailing situation, candidates may be considered for the granting of increments with additional relevant post-qualification experience above the stipulated minimum requirement. Counsel will also enjoy a range of fringe benefits, including paid leave, medical and dental benefits, and where appropriate, assistance in housing.
For the basic entry requirements for the Government Counsel rank, candidates –
The application period for the 2020 Government Counsel Recruitment Exercise ended on 6 November 2020. The next exercise will be advertised in around September/October 2021.