A career as Government Counsel in the Department of Justice offers a unique opportunity to apply and develop your professional ability. Diverse and challenging roles are available that are not found in the private sector. Government Counsel work with various bureaux and departments as well as law enforcement agencies and participate 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 prospects for promotion to higher positions.
The application period for the 2023 Government Counsel Recruitment Exercise ended on 15 September 2023. The next exercise will be advertised in around August 2024.
Candidates interested in bilingual legislative drafting may be invited to attend a written test for assessing their aptitude in this area of work.
Government Counsel is deployed in the Department of Justice undertaking criminal advocacy, civil litigation, legal advisory work (criminal, civil, national security and public international law), bilingual legislative drafting, commercial law, mutual legal assistance and legal policy work, etc. For operational or career development purposes, Government Counsel will be deployed to work in any offices/divisions of the Department of Justice, such as the Secretary for Justice’s Office, Civil Division, Prosecutions Division, Constitutional and Policy Affairs Division, International Law Division, Law Drafting Division or National Security Prosecutions Division.
Find out more about the Department's work at About us > Organisation.
The Government Counsel Grade comprises the following six ranks -
|Principal Government Counsel||DL3|
|Deputy Principal Government Counsel||DL2|
|Assistant Principal Government Counsel||DL1|
|Senior Government Counsel||MPS# 45-49|
|Government Counsel||MPS 32-44|
|#||"DL" denotes Directorate (Legal) Pay Scale|
|"MPS" denotes Master Pay Scale|
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 recruit at Government Counsel rank will be appointed on civil service probationary terms for three years. Upon passage of probation bar, he/she may be considered for appointment on the prevailing permanent terms.
The entry pay for Government Counsel is the Master Pay Scale Point 32, currently $75,585. 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 entry requirements for the Government Counsel rank, candidates –
|Q1:||Do I have to obtain a pass in the Basic Law and National Security Law Test (BLNST) in order to meet the entry requirements for Government Counsel? What if I have not taken the BLNST or have not attained a pass result in the BLNST at the time of application?|
|A1:||Attaining a pass result in BLNST is an entry requirement for all civil service jobs. Candidates for the post of Government Counsel must pass the BLNST in order to be considered for appointment.
For candidates who have not taken the BLNST or have not attained a pass result in the BLNST at the time of application, they may still apply for the job and arrangements will be made for them to take the BLNST during the recruitment process.
|Q2:||As stated in the recruitment advertisement, candidates should apply in writing with a completed application form and a full C.V. by the stipulated deadlines. What should be included in the C.V.? Do I have to indicate my work preferences in the C.V.?|
|A2:||The C.V. should at least include the following –
|Q3:||Do I have to be a Permanent Resident of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region?|
|A3:||Candidates must be permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region at the time of appointment.|
Enquiries can be made to Executive Officer (Personnel)5 or Senior Clerical Officer (Personnel)2 of the Department of Justice at 3703 6536 or 3703 6550 or to our Appointments Team by post to Ground Floor, Main Wing, Justice Place, 18 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong or by email to email@example.com.