Choosing top judge 'urgent'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 April, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 April, 1997, 12:00am

The post-handover chief justice should be appointed as soon as possible, a member of the judicial recommending body said.

The member of the Judicial Officers' Recommendation Commission, who did not want to be named, said the early appointment of the new chief justice would facilitate the setting up of the future Court of Final Appeal.

'He would then chair the commission which will recommend judges of all levels, including the Court of Final Appeal,' he said.

The new court would be set up on July 1, and preparatory work had to be done beforehand.

The commission would then recommend the court's three other permanent judges, and a maximum of 30 non-permanent local and overseas judges.

'It is more urgent to appoint the permanent judges first, and it is not a must for the list of overseas judges to be ready on July 1,' the member said.

There have been concerns that there will not be enough overseas judges available.

In choosing the post-handover chief justice, the member said criteria such as integrity, judicial temperament and knowledge should be considered.

The commission will have its second meeting this month, or early next month.