Chief Justice serves up tradition

A farewell dinner party in honour of Mr Justice Findlay is to be held at the Chief Justice's official residence, Hulme House, on the Peak this week, reminiscent of a pre-handover tradition.

Andrew Li Kwok-nang, known for his low-profile style, is seldom seen or heard at social and official functions.

But behind the scenes, the Chief Justice is popular for his hospitality among subordinates.

Since becoming head of Judiciary at the handover, he has carried on the tradition inherited from his predecessors Ti Liang Yang and Sir Denys Roberts of hosting a commemorative meal for retiring judges.

A judge said: 'Unlike Ti Liang Yang, who only offered similar treats frequently during his first few years as Chief Justice, Mr Justice Li has not missed the chance of inviting every retiring judge. He is as hospitable as Sir Denys.' The guest list, including six to eight couples, is nominated by the retiring judge concerned.

It is usual for Chinese cuisine to be served by Mr Justice Li's chefs.

But not every judge accepted the invitation.

It is understood Mr Justice Nicholas Barnett and Mr Justice Benjamin Liu Tse-ming, who retired in April and May respectively, turned down the offer.

The meals are part of several social functions hosted by Mr Justice Li at his official residence in Gough Hill Road each year.

A Judiciary spokeswoman said the functions were paid for by the Chief Justice himself, although he receives a 'non-accountable' entertainment allowance.