Organisation chart of the Civil Division

2/F and 6/F, Main and East Wing,
Justice Place, 18 Lower Albert Road,
Central, Hong Kong
Enquiries : 3918 4455
Fax : 3918 4521

Organisation Chart of Civil Division

The Civil Division has a major role in providing legal advice on a wide range of legal issues on civil matters to all government bureaus and departments. The division also represents the government in the conduct of all civil claims and disputes involving the government.


The Civil Division comprises four major units:

  • Advisory
  • Civil Litigation 1 and 2
  • Commercial
  • Planning, Environment, Lands & Housing

Advisory Unit

Counsel of this unit advise various government bureaus and departments on civil law issues of a general nature, including statutory interpretation, administrative law issues and legislative proposals in a wide range of areas, such as:

  • agricultural, fisheries and conservation matters
  • civil aviation, shipping and public transport
  • civil service and disciplinary proceedings
  • education and social welfare
  • election related matters
  • employment related matters
  • matters relating to the police force, fire services, correctional and customs services
  • protection of personal data
  • public health and environmental hygiene
  • recreation and culture

Civil Litigation Unit 1 and 2

Counsel in the Civil Litigation Unit act as instructing solicitors or advocates, as the case may be, in representing the government in the conduct of civil claims and disputes involving the government, and some of the work has been briefed out to private practitioners as may be required.

As in previous years, public law cases have formed a major part of the unit's work. In recent years, one notable phenomenon in public law litigation has been the dramatic increase in the number of cases brought by people who came to Hong Kong and subsequently lodged claims for protection under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Following the decision of the Court of First Instance in FB v Director of Immigration (HCAL 51/2007), a revised administrative screening scheme has been developed by the Administration for handling claims made under the Convention. In October 2009, a dedicated team was set up within the division to provide legal support to deal with Convention-related and other immigration cases, including advice on the enhanced screening procedure, legal representation at oral hearings before tribunals and in judicial review cases before the Court of First Instance and any subsequent appeals.

Apart from public law litigation, and in addition to the type of cases already referred to, the Civil Litigation Unit handles a wide spectrum of other civil litigation matters on behalf of the government, including personal injury cases, civil service matters, immigration matters, charities and trusts matters, revenue appeals, telecommunications appeals, and general recovery of government debts.


Commercial Unit

Work on commercial law is generated by the government's own commercial requirements, by the government's regulation of utilities, franchisees and licensees, and by certain commercial services provided to the community.


Planning, Environment, Lands & Housing Unit

The Planning, Environment, Lands & Housing (PEL&H) Unit has two teams, namely, the Advisory Team and the Litigation Team. Counsel in the PEL&H (Advisory) Team advise the government on a wide range of matters relating to town planning, environmental protection and control, lands, regulatory control of building operations and building management, rating, government rent and declaration of monuments, including a significant number of infrastructure projects, policy initiatives and legislative proposals.

Counsel in the PEL&H (Litigation) Team act as instructing solicitors or advocates, as the case may be, in representing the government in the conduct of civil claims and disputes involving the government, and some of the work has been briefed out to private practitioners as may be required. A wide variety of litigation cases fall within the purview of the team, which include both public law cases and private law cases, and at different court levels and at the tribunal level, relating to land, town planning, building, environment, housing, heritage conservation, rating and government rent, land resumption and other types of statutory compensation claims. The team also handles arbitration cases (other than those related to construction works).


Expression of Interest by Counsel to Undertake Government Civil Work

The Civil Division invites junior counsel in the private practice who have more than 5 years’ post admission experience to express interest in undertaking civil matters on behalf of the Government. Counsel who are interested should complete and return the attached form of Expression of Interest together with a copy of his/her curriculum vitae to the Division as follows:


By Post : Department of Justice
Civil Division
3/F, Main Wing, Justice Place
18 Lower Albert Road
Central, Hong Kong
(Attn.: Mr. Jason Leung, Executive Officer (Civil Division) 3)
By Email : jasonleung@doj.gov.hk

In case of enquiries, please contact Mr. Jason Leung, Executive Officer (Civil Division) 3, by phone at 3918 4439 or by email at jasonleung@doj.gov.hk.

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