Department of Justice releases "Prosecutions Hong Kong 2015"

The Prosecutions Division of the Department of Justice today (December 30) released its annual report, "Prosecutions Hong Kong 2015", which reviews the division's work and important cases last year.

In the Director's Overview, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Keith Yeung, SC, elaborated on the key challenges for the division in 2015. He said besides the heavy caseload, during the year, the division faced a more difficult and fundamental challenge related to the controversial nature of the increasing number of cases that it handled, and the act of certain members of the public lashing out in court proceedings. In this regard, Mr Yeung emphasised that the division approached all cases apolitically and respected differences in opinion. "We realise, against such a background, that it has become all the more important that prosecutors must be able to stand firm and continue to perform their role faithfully as 'minister of justice', with pride, and with our heads up", Mr Yeung added.

In his letter presenting the report to the Secretary for Justice, Mr Yeung summarised the performance of the division's prosecutors during the period, "[O]ur prosecutors have discharged their duties in a most professional manner, demonstrating integrity, impartiality and independence, as well as a great dedication to the pursuit of justice. They stood up to challenges in difficult times, firmly and faithfully performing their important role as ministers of justice to assist the courts in the search for truth and justice according to law."

It was also reported that all the four Deputy Directors of the division were appointed as Senior Counsel in 2015 (Mr William Tam, Mr David Leung and Mr Martin Hui) and 2016 (Miss Anna Lai) respectively. In this regard, Mr Yeung said, "I am extremely pleased to see the work of our senior prosecutors being recognised by the Judiciary and the legal profession at large ... This is not only a reflection of their personal achievements, but also a testimony to the width and depth of expertise that the Prosecutions Division possesses in recent years."

Apart from a detailed account of the main activities of and key cases handled by the different sub-divisions and units of the Prosecutions Division, this latest review also provides information on various trainings as well as conferences, both locally and internationally, in which prosecutors participated during the year. Moreover, the division also continued to actively reach out to its partners and the community by organising events such as the 2015 Criminal Law Conference, the Prosecution Week and the "Meet the Community" programme.

This latest review also contains feature articles on interviews with two ex-members of the Prosecutions Division - Mr Wesley Wong, SC, who was promoted to the post of Solicitor General on September 3, 2015, to head the Legal Policy Division, and Dr Alain Sham, who retired in early 2016 as Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions. Both of them shared their invaluable work experience, beliefs and views.

"Prosecutions Hong Kong 2015" is available at the website of the Department of Justice (www.doj.gov.hk/en/publications/yrreviewpd2015.html).

Ends/Friday, Dec 30, 2016