Leaders of the legal community said they did not believe there would be a problem replacing Director of Prosecutions Grenville Cross with a candidate from among the government's top prosecutors, despite there being no clear successor at present.
They expressed confidence that the Department of Justice could appoint a suitable successor to Cross, whose term could end on October 22 when his contract expires. Since his appointment in 1997, his contract has twice been extended - in 2006 and April this year.
The civil service began calling for internal candidates in May. Now, with a June deadline passed, it has yet to announce whether there is to be a successor or whether Cross' tenure will be renewed.
Lo Pui-yin, a member of the Bar Council, said: 'The [succession] issue has been around for a long time. I do not believe the Department of Justice does not have a plan for it. Perhaps there is news but the department has not announced it yet ... this is an important position.'
Law Society president Wong Kwai-huen said he saw no succession problems with the post. 'There are many capable people, like Ian McWalters [SC, deputy director of public prosecutions] and Arthur Luk [Yee-shun, SC, another deputy director of public prosecutions]. Both are very experienced.'
Cross' possible departure comes as senior positions at the prosecution division of the Department of Justice are reshuffled. One of his four deputies, Kevin Zervos SC, moves today from his appeals role to another deputy post responsible for management and trial preparation, following fellow deputy John Reading SC's retirement last week.