A disappointing speech

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 January, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 January, 1994, 12:00am

THE Chief Justice's speech at the Opening of the Legal Year was a disappointment not only to the legal community but to all those with the survival of the rule of law in Hong Kong at heart.

Having chosen, on the feeble excuse of a smaller invited audience than in previous years, to dispense with the usual speeches by the Attorney-General, the chairman of the Bar Association and the president of the Law Society, Sir Ti LiangYang might at least have attempted to cover the wider concerns of the profession more adequately.

The Judiciary deserves congratulation for its belated attempts to improve efficiency and appoint a new full-time administrator. Alice Tai Yuen-ying, who is tipped for the post, is likely to prove a capable choice. But it deserves criticism in other matters.

At what should have been a high-level legal forum, Sir Ti Liang failed to tackle such important issues as the Court of Final Appeal, localisation or the use of Chinese in the courts.

A little more forthright discussion might have helped make up for the absence of other speakers on the podium. It is to be hoped that next year's legal year is opened with both a braver speech from the Chief Justice and a full line-up of speakers.