Hard labour for lawyers who speak only English

The use of Chinese in Hong Kong's courts has taken off. Photo: SCMP

With more court cases being heard in Chinese, lawyers who know only English say the amount of work available for them has dropped, causing some to earn less, go into early retirement or move abroad.

Monday, 1 April, 2013, 9:57am 8 comments

Lawyers offering advice for free say 'clients' broaden their horizons

Melissa Kaye Pang, Jal Karbhari, Chow Chun-man and Bowie Yip are honoured for their volunteer work. Photo: May Tse

Once every three months, Chow Chun-man hurries away from his solicitor's firm in Mong Kok early in the evening. The lawyer must be at the government district office in Tsuen Wan by 7pm, a routine he has followed since 2001. Every time he is there, he will see five clients - but he doesn't charge them.

14 Feb 2013 - 4:09am

Letters to the Editor, January 9, 2013

Small-house policy has to be cancelled. Photo: Edward Wong

C.Y. Leung's policies will be good for city

I agree with the views expressed by Carwyn Lee Kai-chun ("Protesters have been unreasonable", January 7).

9 Jan 2013 - 1:27am 2 comments

Legal group produces handbook for protesters

Craig Choy with the booklet explaining civil rights for protesters. Photo: Nora Tam

A big rise in the number of arrests of demonstrators has prompted a group of legal professionals to produce a handbook to explain their rights.

6 Jan 2013 - 2:01pm 1 comment

Talent pool for finding judges 'running dry'

Talent pool for finding judges 'running dry'

The heavy workload of the judiciary and a restricted pool of candidates have created barriers to the recruitment of judges, lawyers and legal academics say.

While court waiting times lengthen and fall further behind official objectives, some judges are said to be using their holidays to write judgments.

31 Dec 2012 - 5:35am

Joining the judiciary on the mainland

Professor Gu Minkang

Becoming a judge in Hong Kong and on the mainland are two very different things.

31 Dec 2012 - 5:35am

Two-year pilot scheme offering free legal advice to help needy

Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing (right). Photo: Sam Tsang

A trial scheme offering free legal advice, starting early next year, aims to help the growing number of people who are unable to afford hiring a lawyer but are too rich to qualify for legal aid.

30 Dec 2012 - 4:55am

Law Society mulls common exam

An overhaul of the examination system that allows law graduates to become qualified lawyers is being considered by the head of the Law Society.

Students currently have to complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) before they qualify as apprentice solicitors or barristers.

30 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Law to be more user-friendly

Law drafters are aiming to make Hong Kong legislation more accessible to the public by adopting a simpler and gender-sensitive writing style.

The effort to 'modernise' the text, which will be applied to all legislation starting this year, is also meant to narrow the gap in quality between the city's body of laws and those of developed Western nations.

3 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Lawyers must swear loyalty to the party

To become a lawyer on the mainland one must now swear an oath of support to the leadership of the Communist Party.

The Ministry of Justice recently set up the oath system for new lawyers, the Legal Daily reported yesterday.

22 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

The ghost of India's Licence Raj lingers on

While the notorious Licence Raj is slowly being phased out, India's legal community remains a closed shop. The situation harms litigants and businesses and, perhaps counter-intuitively, the lawyers themselves.

1 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Solicitors launch site to offer free legal advice

Hong Kong's solicitors yesterday launched an a website offering free legal advice to people in need.

More than 90 law firms have signed up to offer services on the Law Society's new web page,

24 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Defence lawyers can be unreasonable

Lawyers are expected to uphold the law, yet some of them cause a lot of harm to society. Some defence lawyers specialise in getting their wealthy clients off the hook through clever manipulations of the legal system.

15 Jun 2011 - 12:00am

Lawyers at NPC pushed for right to become prosecutors or judges

More lawyers should be allowed to become judges or prosecutors, several government-friendly lawyers urged at the National People's Congress this year.

8 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Legal system less arbitrary but still a work in progress

New talent and rising competition is helping to boost the transparency of the mainland's legal sector, long derided as being a Communist Party offshoot.

4 Apr 2011 - 12:00am