Revealing opening for new legal year

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 January, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 January, 1999, 12:00am

The Chief Justice will reveal his plans for the future at the opening of the new legal year today.

Andrew Li Kwok-nang will make his keynote speech after spending most of the day listening to legal arguments in the most important constitutional case yet to come before the Court of Final Appeal.

Lawyers fighting the case, involving a challenge by mainland migrants to restrictions on their right of abode, will be allowed to wear their ceremonial robes in court to enable them to dash over to City Hall for the opening.

It will be the first time the Judiciary's policy commitments will have been revealed at the opening of the legal year.

The change is aimed at underlining the Judiciary's independence by removing the announcement of its commitments from those issued by the Government in the October Policy Address. Mr Justice Li is likely to outline the way in which he will be pursuing his aim of establishing Hong Kong's reputation within the common law world.

The speech by Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung Oi-see will be eagerly awaited after controversies over the trial of 'Big Spender' Cheung Tze-keung on the mainland and the decisions not to prosecute Xinhua or newspaper tycoon Sally Aw Sian.