Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal


The chief justice of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, sometimes informally known as the chief justice of Hong Kong, is the head of the Judiciary of Hong Kong and the chief judge of the Court of Final Appeal.[1] The chief justice is one of three permanent members of the Court.[2] During British rule between 1843 and 1997, the head of the Hong Kong Judiciary was the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong; that position became the chief judge of the High Court in 1997.

Chief Justice of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal
香港終審法院首席法官
Incumbent
Andrew Cheung

since 11 January 2021
StyleThe Honourable
AppointerChief Executive of Hong Kong with endorsement by the Legislative Council
Term lengthLife tenure (until statutory retirement at age 70; this may be extended by 3-year periods for up to two terms, meaning retirement age could be 76)
Inaugural holderAndrew Li, 1 July 1997
FormationHong Kong Basic Law
1 July 1997
Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal
Traditional Chinese香港終審法院首席法官

The first chief justice of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal was Andrew Li, who served for over 13 years.

Role of the chief justice


The chief justice is the president of the Court of Final Appeal, and is charged with the administration of the Judiciary and often acts as its spokesperson.[1] He is assisted by the court leaders of the lower courts for judicial administration (such as dealing with staffing, promotions, or public complaints), namely the chief judge of the High Court, chief district judge, and the chief magistrate. In hearing and determining an appeal, the Court will consist of five judges, with the chief justice sitting at the middle of the bench. However, the chief justice enjoys no higher authority than other Permanent or Non-permanent Judges of the court when it comes to judicial decisions.[3]

The office of Chief Justice is second only to the chief executive of Hong Kong in the Hong Kong order of precedence. In the case of an impeachment of a chief executive of Hong Kong, the chief justice presides over the trial as provided by the Hong Kong Basic Law. The chief justice is also the chairman ex-officio of the Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission which makes recommendations to fill a variety of judicial roles, and also determines the elevation of junior barristers to senior counsel status.

List


Name Place of birth Starting age Retirement age Term of office Tenure length Prior judicial offices Higher education Inner bar Appointed by
1Andrew Li Kwok-nang, GBM
李國能
(born 1948; age 72)
Hong Kong 48 61 1 July 199731 August 201013 years and 62 daysDeputy District Judge (1982–85)
Deputy High Court Judge
(1991–97)
University of Cambridge (MA, LLM) QC (1988)Tung Chee-hwa
2Geoffrey Ma Tao-li, GBM
馬道立
(born 1956; age 65)
Hong Kong 54 65 1 September 2010 10 January 2021 10 years and 132 days Recorder of the Court of First Instance (2000–01)
Judge of the Court of First Instance (2001–02)
Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal (2002–03)
Chief Judge of the High Court (2003–10)
University of Birmingham (LLB)
University of Law
QC (1993) Donald Tsang
3Andrew Cheung Kui-nung, GBM
張舉能

(born 1961; age 59)
Hong Kong 59 Incumbent 11 January 2021Incumbent199 daysDistrict Judge (2001–03)
Deputy High Court Judge (2001–03)
Judge of the Court of First Instance (2003–11)
Chief Judge of the High Court (2011–18)
Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal (2018–21)
University of Hong Kong (LLB, PCLL)
Harvard Law School (LLM)
Carrie Lam

Residence


The chief justice resides at the Chief Justice's House, also known as the Clavadel, at 19 Gough Hill Road, The Peak. It was built in 1893.[4] The chief justice is also chauffeured in a government vehicle with the license plate "CJ".

Judiciary administrator


Attached to the office of the chief justice is a Judiciary administrator, who assists the chief justice in the overall administration of the Judiciary. Being the head of the Judiciary Administration, she has to ensure that proper support is provided to judges and judicial officers in the administration of justice, and that court operation is being carried out effectively and smoothly.

# Name Term of office Tenure length Appointed by
1 Alice Tai Yuen-ying, GBS, JP 1 July 1997 31 March 1999 1 year and 274 days Andrew Li
2 Wilfred Tsui Chi-keung 15 June 1999 14 June 2005 6 years and 0 days
3 Emma Lau Yin-wah, JP 15 June 2005 16 July 2020 15 years and 32 days
4 Esther Leung Yuet-yin, JP 20 July 2020 Incumbent 1 year and 9 days Geoffrey Ma

See also


References