Top minds join legal advice centre

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 December, 2006, 12:00am

More than a dozen local lawyers, including senior counsel Philip Dykes and Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, and several mainland legal professionals have joined the city's first free legal advice centre, to be launched next month.

The Civil Rights Legal Centre has also raised HK$800,000 for its first two years of operation, and hired veteran social activist Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong as its officer, according to Ho Hei-wah, director of the Society for Community Organisation, who organised the move. Mr Ho hopes the centre will handle about 50 cases a year. It aims to focus on test cases involving human, social and economic rights and government policies - such as the large number of low-income tenants being evicted from public housing every year. 'There are so many human rights and social issues ending up in courts but very often such cases are not backed by the legal aid system. We want to fill this gap,' he said.

The centre will offer help to people unable to afford legal advice, like those who need a lawyer before they can claim legal aid.

It will also help people with family members jailed or detained in the mainland.