on 5 June 1996
ITEM FOR ESTABLISHMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
OF FINANCE COMMITTEE
HEAD 92 - LEGAL DEPARTMENT
Subhead 001 Salaries
Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the following changes in the directorate establishment of the Legal Department -
(a) the creation of the following permanent posts -
2 Principal Crown Counsel
($111,100 - $117,750)
3 Deputy Principal Crown Counsel
($95,550 - $101,450)
1 Administrative Officer Staff Grade C (D2)
($95,550 - $101,450)
offset by the deletion of the following posts -
1 Principal Crown Counsel post (supernumerary)
($111,100 - $117,750);
3 Deputy Principal Crown Counsel (supernumerary)
($95,550 - $101,450)
1 Senior Administrative Officer (permanent)
(MPS 45 - 49)
($62,665 - $72,195); and
(b) the redeployment of 2 permanent posts of Deputy Principal Crown Counsel (DL2) from the Prosecutions Division to the Legal Policy Division.
The existing directorate establishment of the Legal Department is inadequate to cope effectively with the increasing workload and responsibilities placed on both the Attorney General (AG) personally and the Department as a whole.
2. With a view to enabling the Legal Department to cope with the demands placed on it, the AG proposes the following changes to the directorate establishment -
(a) AG&'s Office : creating one permanent post of Principal Crown Counsel (PCC) (DL3) and upgrading the post of Administrative Assistant to the AG from Senior Administrative Officer (MPS 45 - 49) to Administrative Officer Staff Grade C (AOSGC) (D2);
(b) Legal Policy Division : establishing a new Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) Unit, creating one permanent post of PCC (DL3) to head the Unit and redeploying two permanent posts of Deputy Principal Crown Counsel (DPCC) (DL2) from the Prosecutions Division to the Legal Policy Division to staff the new Unit;
(c) Legal Policy Division : creating two permanent posts of DPCC (DL2) to handle Legislative Council (LegCo) and Constitutional /Basic Law matters;
(d) Law Reform Commission Secretariat : creating one permanent post of DPCC (DL2); and
(e) Legal Policy and Law Drafting Divisions : deleting one supernumerary post of PCC (DL3) and three supernumerary posts of DPCC (DL2) created to handle constituency boundaries and election matters.
AG&'s Office : Creation of a PCC Post and an AOSGC Post
Role and work of the AG
3. The AG has a spread of responsibilities that are unique within Government. In particular, -
(a) he is the principal legal adviser to the Governor and to Government as a whole;
(b) he is an ex-officio member of the Executive Council (ExCo);
(c) he makes the decisions on whether or not to prosecute criminal offences, and in this respect acting independently from Government;
(d) he is the defendant in all civil actions brought against Government and represents both Government and the public interest in courts;
(e) as guardian of the public interest, he may apply for judicial review to enforce public legal rights;
(f) he may intervene in any case where Crown prerogatives may be affected or where an issue of great public interest arises;
(g) he represents the public interest in his capacity as counsel to Commissions of Inquiry;
(h) he is the Protector of Charities and must be joined in all actions to enforce charitable or public trusts; and
(i) he is Chairman of the Law Reform Commission, the Chief Secretary&'s Legal Affairs Policy Group and the Legal Practitioners Liaison Committee; Deputy Chairman of the Fight Crime Committee; and serves on the Operations Review Committee and the Complaints Committee of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the Judicial Service Commission, the Chief Secretary&'s Legal and Security Policy Group, the Constitutional Affairs Policy Group and the Community Affairs Policy Group, and the Governor&'s Advisory Committee on Legal Education.
P>4. Like the Chief Secretary and Financial Secretary, the AG occupies a rank above all other policy secretaries. He also oversees a total establishment of 1 005 staff, including 270 lawyers.
5. Recent years have seen a significant increase in the demands placed upon the AG in respect of his role as a leading member of the Administration and as a head of department. The paragraphs to follow will give some salient examples.
6. Deliberation on matters affecting Hong Kong&'s transition many a time involves consideration of constitutional and legal policy questions. The AG, as Government&'s chief legal adviser, is personally involved in decision-making at the highest level on a wide range of issues and is frequently called upon by the Governor and the Chief Secretary for legal advice.
7. As head of department, the AG is personally accountable for the operation of all six Divisions of the Legal Department, five of which are headed by Law Officers ranked at DL6. The existing organisation chart of the Department is at Enclosure 1. In recent years, work of all the five professional Divisions has grown in number and complexity. For example, -
(a) Prosecutions Division : work in respect of commercial crime has risen dramatically both in terms of volume and complexity, partly because of an increasing number of cases detected by law enforcement agencies and partly because of growing sophistication of commerce and thus commercial frauds;
(b) Law Drafting Division : the bilingual laws programme has led to an increasing workload on sinophone counsel, and the Localisation and Adaptation of Laws Unit has undertaken a heavy programme that must be completed before the transfer of sovereignty;
(c) International Law Division : the Unit is responsible for advising Government on legal issues arising from or relating to transition matters, including discussions in the Joint Liaison Group, and is closely involved in the negotiations of vital international agreements that are to last beyond 1997;
(d) Civil Division : the Division&'s work on advising Government on the legal implications of policy and operational matters has increased rapidly in line with the growing complexity of Government work and public demands on Government. In particular, judicial reviews of administrative action are no longer limited to one or two areas but are now much more diverse and complex (e.g. relating to town planning decisions and broadcasting matters); and
(e) Legal Policy Division : the workload of the Division has increased because of the need to consider changes in the regulatory framework of legal services and important pieces of legislation. Details are in paragraphs 8 and 11 below.
8. Legal Department is mindful of the need to maintain the integrity of the administration of justice in Hong Kong and to introduce where necessary legislation to this end. Work in this respect has increased in recent years and AG does not expect a reverse trend in the foreseeable future. For instance, of the Bills passed by the Legislative Council in the last session, AG was responsible for taking the lead in the case of seven Bills. The corresponding figures in 1993/94 and 1992/93 are eight and three respectively. AG&'s other interface with the Legislative Council has also increased - he is speaking in more motion debates (six in the last session as compared to one in each of the previous two sessions) and is attending more meetings of committees and panels than before (eight in the last session, as compared to five in 1993/94 and four in 1992/93). This increase in work reflects both a closer working relationship between the executive and the legislative arms of Government and the growing openness and accountability of the Administration.
Support to the AG
(a) Creation of an additional PCC post
9. At present, the Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) of the Legal Policy Division (PCC in rank) assists the AG in the professional aspects of his work in the Legislative and Executive Councils in addition to assisting the Solicitor General in respect of the work of the Legal Policy Division. A Senior Administrative Officer, known as Administrative Assistant to the AG, supports the AG in the non-professional aspects of his day-to-day work.
10. Not only does the DSG need to discharge the responsibilities as the deputy to the Solicitor General, he also needs to liaise between the AG and other Divisions, support the AG in his work in the Executive and Legislative Councils and on many high-level committees and supervise the AG&'s Public Relations and Information Unit.
11. During the last three years, the workload of the DSG has increased enormously because of the following factors -
(i) an increase in the Attorney General's LegCo work (see paragraph 8 above);
(ii) an increase in workload of the Legal Policy Division especially in areas of growing political importance, namely, human rights, constitutional and electoral affairs, and China-related work ;
(iii) increased demands on the DSG for high-level legal policy advice and assistance in respect of important Bills and projects (such as the Organised and Serious Crimes Bill, the Court of Final Appeal Bill, the Prevention of Bribery (Miscellaneous Provisions) (No.2) Bill, and the Consultation Paper on Legal Services) which resulted in the DSG attending 33 meetings of LegCo committees and panels in the last session;
(iv) an increase in the number of duty visits by the Solicitor General (from one in 1994-95 to 11 in 1995-96) which means that the DSG must deputise for him more frequently; and
(v) an increase in the size and role of the Public Relations and Information Unit.
It has therefore become impossible for the DSG to provide the required support and services to the AG and at the same time fully perform his own duties in the Legal Policy Division. The AG strongly feels the need for the creation of one PCC post in the AG&'s office dedicated to providing him with the necessary professional support. The additional PCC post will also enable the DSG to refocus on his legal policy work. The DSG will then be able to assist the SG in the operations and management of the Legal Policy Division, including the supervision of the work of five DPCCs, a task which he should be doing, but is not able to discharge fully at the moment given the need for him to provide professional support to the AG. Given the growing complexity and volume of work of the Legal Policy Division, the DSG post should remain at the PCC rank.
12. The proposed PCC post will provide to the AG full-time service of a professional legal nature, which must be entirely reliable. For example, he will study ExCo papers each week to identify legal points and issues of legal policy on which the AG would need to be briefed, and to provide such a briefing. Experience has shown that such issues frequently arise, and it is essential that the AG is fully briefed before attending ExCo. The PCC would also make an important contribution to the AG&'s work in LegCo, including the preparation of his speeches, statements to LegCo Panels, and questions and answers. He would also comment on the draft LegCo statements and answers of the policy secretaries in so far as they are related to legal issues.
13. The PCC would make similar contributions in respect of the AG&'s work on other committees such as dealing with correspondence requiring legal input, and his other public speaking engagements. Also, he would assist the AG in keeping abreast of legal developments in other jurisdictions that may be of relevance to the department and, where necessary, providing background papers on such developments for discussion by the AG and Law Officers.
14. With respect to the work of the divisions within Legal Department, the AG needs the support of a senior lawyer in analysing particular legal issues that are put to the AG; and in ensuring that legal advice from other divisions is obtained and fully taken into account where necessary. This work can only be done by an experienced lawyer who works closely with the AG and is outside the divisional structure of the department. The main duties and responsibilities of the proposed PCC post are at Enclosure 2.
With respect to the work of the divisions within Legal Department, the AG needs the support of a senior lawyer in analysing particular legal issues that are put to the AG; and in ensuring that legal advice from other divisions is obtained and fully taken into account where necessary. This work can only be done by an experienced lawyer who works closely with the AG and is outside the divisional structure of the department. The main duties and responsibilities of the proposed PCC post are at Enclosure 2.
(b) Upgrading of the post of AA/AG
15. With new developments in the AG&'s portfolio, it is necessary for the Administrative Assistant (AA) to the AG to adopt a more proactive role in ensuring that politically sensitive areas are identified in advance, senior officers in the department alerted, and the AG well briefed. He would need to critically examine policy papers and issues put before the AG from a political perspective. He would prepare briefs for the AG on ExCo, LegCo, policy group and other committees dealing with public policies, advising the AG on political, social and media implication of various issues.
16. Externally, the AA would need to maintain close liaison with senior directorate in the central government so as to get an accurate and up-to-date assessment of the political implications and community sentiments on policy issues. This assessment is part of the essential background information which the AG needs when giving legal advice.
17. With greater openness and transparency in Government, matters under the purview of AG receive the attention not only of the legal profession, but also of the fully elected LegCo and the public in general. The AG would need an AA with good political sense, critical thinking, sound knowledge of political development and community sentiments, and good liaison skills to work out suitable strategy to explain and promote issues under his purview. AG therefore considers that AOSGC is the most suitable rank for this job. The proposed duty list of the AOSGC is at Enclosure 3.
18. At present, various types of mutual legal assistance (&"MLA&") are sought from, or provided to, other jurisdictions by different units in the Department as follows -
(a) Extradition: the Extradition and Treaties Unit of Prosecutions Division handles incoming and outgoing requests for assistance in the surrender of fugitives;
(b) Asset recovery: the Asset Recovery Unit of Prosecutions Division handles incoming and outgoing requests for assistance in respect of the confiscation of proceeds of crime, including applications for production orders, restraint orders, and search and seizure;
(c) Letters of request: incoming requests for assistance in obtaining evidence for foreign civil or criminal proceedings are handled by counsel in Civil Division while outgoing requests for assistance in respect of criminal proceedings are handled by counsel in Prosecutions Division;
(d) Transfer of prisoners: Legal Policy Division advises on applications for the transfer of prisoners to or from Hong Kong; and
(e) MLA legislation: Legal Policy Division is responsible for preparing and promoting legislation in respect of certain types of MLA (e.g. letters of request).
19. MLA work has increased in volume, complexity and importance in recent years. The following statistics will help illustrate the level of MLA work presently handled by the Department -
(a) the number of advice given by the Extradition and Treaties Unit rose from 375 in financial year 1993-94 to 611 in 1994-95, and to 841 in 1995-96; some recent requests for extradition have led to prolonged and complex legal proceedings in other jurisdictions;
(b) the numbers of advice given by the Asset Recovery Unit for the years of 1993-94, 1994-95 and 1995-96 are 544, 684 and 648 respectively;
(c) the number of letters of request received rose from 30 in 1990-91 to 59 in 1993-94, to 47 in 1994-95,and to 40 in 1995-96; and
(d) the number of applications processed for the transfer of prisoners to Hong Kong rose from four in 1993-94 to 15 in 1994/95. The number for 1995-96 is 10. As for the transfer of prisoners out of Hong Kong, the number was three in 1993-94, two in 1994-95 and four in 1995-96.
20. The Department&'s work in respect of MLA will continue to grow. Further MLA treaties will be entered into, both to replace the existing bilateral arrangements which will end on 30 June 1997 and to extend the scope of the MLA. For example, the scope of MLA will be expanded to cover requests for search and seizure, and for the transfer of prisoners to give evidence or render other assistance. In addition, there will also be more work in relation to restraint and confiscation orders as additional treaties would require more supporting arrangements. Furthermore, there will almost certainly be an increase in the number of prisoners transferred to or from Hong Kong as further agreements are made with other countries. A Bill to enhance the jurisdiction of the courts to respond to letters of request in criminal matters is now before the Legislative Council, and there are plans to promote comprehensive MLA legislation.
21. The present arrangements for handling MLA work are spread over a number of divisions. This is inefficient and results in a lack of overall supervision, co-ordination and direction in an area of work vital to the interests of Hong Kong. In view of the growing number of MLAs between Hong Kong and other jurisdictions and the expected increase in MLA work in the future, the AG therefore considers that there is a pressing need to establish a centralised unit in the Legal Policy Division to process and despatch requests for MLA and to assist in the implementation of MLA treaties. Failure to implement MLA treaties, and to seek and offer MLA effectively and efficiently would have serious repercussions on the rule of law and on Hong Kong&'s status as an international financial and business centre. For example, if there were not effective arrangements in respect of the surrender of fugitives, Hong Kong could become a haven for foreign criminals. And without effective MLA in respect of asset recovery, Hong Kong could become a centre for remitting the proceeds of foreign crime.
22. It is also relevant to note that the theme of the September 1994 Conference of the Commonwealth Secretariat was &"Mutual Legal Assistance&". There was much discussion amongst delegates about the need for all jurisdictions to establish centralised units for mutual legal assistance. Most jurisdictions which have to process as many requests as Hong Kong (e.g. Australia, Canada, USA, and UK) have established centralised units to deal with all incoming and outgoing requests relating to mutual legal assistance. Such centralised units make it easier for the jurisdictions to develop expertise and to form efficient working relationships with their counterparts in other jurisdictions. AG considers that there is merit for Hong Kong to follow suit.
Staffing of the new MLA Unit
23. At present, there is no PCC in the Department responsible solely for MLA. The creation of a new unit dealing with a large volume of MLA requests, most of which are of complex and sensitive nature, requires the input and supervision of an officer at the PCC level who can deal with this work independently on a day-to-day basis and give this work the time and focus it deserves. The officer would need to have sufficient experience of all types of MLA work and the necessary personality and drive to forge international ties and to establish the international reputation of the new unit.
24. As detailed below, all existing PCC posts in the Department are fully deployed and there is no spare capacity to absorb the work required of a PCC to head the new MLA Unit. Although the DSG will be relieved of his work in assisting the AG after the creation of one PCC post in the AG&'s Office as proposed in paragraph 12, he will continue to be responsible for supervising five legal units in the Legal Policy Division and the PR and Information Unit. The two PCC in the Prosecutions Division who currently supervise the two sections responsible for MLA work have to supervise nine other sections. In the Civil Division, because of the workload on other matters, no PCC is currently able to supervise the work in respect of incoming letters of request on a day to day basis. In practice, difficult cases are referred directly to the Crown Solicitor. Given that all existing PCCs are fully occupied with other work, and there is a need for a PCC to be working full-time on MLA matters, the AG considers that an additional PCC is required to head the new unit. The proposed duty list of the PCC is at Enclosure 4.
25. Following the setting up of a centralised MLA Unit, the work presently handled by the Asset Recovery and Treaties and Extradition Sections of the Prosecutions Division will be transferred to the new Unit. AG therefore proposes that the two DPCC posts currently leading these two Sections should also be redeployed to the new MLA Unit of Legal Policy Division. The duty lists of the two redeployed DPCC posts are at Enclosures 5 and 6. There will be no other redeployment of directorate posts to this new Unit from the Civil Division and the rest of the Legal Policy Division as the directorate officers presently handling MLA work in Civil Division and Legal Policy Division do so on an ad hoc basis and are in fact having difficulties in coping with the workload increase of their respective units. AG does not intend to create any additional non-directorate posts for the MLA Unit at present. The proposed PCC post to be created and the two DPCC posts to be redeployed from the Prosecutions Division will instead be supported by the SCC posts to be redeployed from the Civil Division and the Prosecutions Division.
26. At present, the Legal Policy Division has a substantial amount of workload relating to work of the Legislative Council (LegCo). Most of these relate to the preparation and promotion of legislation for which AG is responsible, and the giving of policy advice in relation to legislation being promoted by other branches. The extent to which this work has grown in volume and complexity in recent years is explained in paragraph 8 above. At the moment, there is no directorate officer (apart from the DSG) who is responsible for this work. The DSG cannot handle all the work himself and currently delegates much of it to officers who are being groomed for promotion to the directorate under the Development Posts Scheme. However, these officers are attached to the Legal Policy Division only on a temporary basis of around six months and cannot build up the desirable level of experience and provide the continuity needed for this type of work.
27. In addition to work on draft legislation, the Legal Policy Division also needs to advise the Administration on the law and practices of the legislature e.g. advising on whether a Bill has a charging effect, the powers and privileges of the Council, and the Council&'s Standing Orders. This work is currently handled by an officer holding a supernumerary DPCC post in the Constitutional and Electoral Affairs Team. The work absorbs most of the time of that post-holder, and will not diminish when the post lapses on 1 October 1996 . An indication of the growing volume of work is that, during the last session of LegCo, nine private members&' Bills were introduced, whereas 16 have been introduced in the current session and more are expected. Moreover, the imminent change of sovereignty is bound to throw up many new legal issues relating to the law and practice of the legislature. AG therefore considers it essential to have a permanent post of DPCC. The creation of this post will be offset by the deletion of the supernumerary post of DPCC referred to in paragraph 31 below. A proposed duty list of the DPCC for the LegCo affairs is at Enclosure 7.
28. Advice on constitutional affairs is, presently, dealt with by counsel holding supernumerary posts in the Constitutional and Electoral Affairs Team. These posts (one PCC and three DPCC including the one mentioned in paragraph 27 above) are due to lapse on 1 October 1996 (paragraph 31 refers).
29. Notwithstanding the impending constitutional change facing Hong Kong, the Administration&'s need for advice on constitutional affairs will go beyond 1997, albeit that pre-1997, the advice will be based on the existing constitutional arrangements whereas post-1997, it will be based on the Basic Law. Although the Basic Law will not come into operation until 1 July 1997, this is already an important consideration in our work. In making any new legislative proposals, we have to ensure that they are consistent with the Basic Law so that they can transcend the change of sovereignty. In fact, making due regard to the Basic Law has given rise to an increase in the volume of the Department&'s work. For instance, the Department has been reviewing the statute book of Hong Kong (covering over 630 Ordinances and 1 100 items of subsidiary legislation) in order to determine how relevant provisions could be adapted to comply with the Basic Law to ensure their continued application after 30 June 1997. Once the Basic Law is in force, the existence of this written constitution will mean that expert advice will constantly be needed on, for example, the constitutionality of proposed new laws and policies. This work will be of great importance.
30. The AG considers it unsatisfactory for work on constitutional matters to continue to be handled by supernumerary posts as if the work is temporary in nature. He therefore proposes to create a permanent DPCC (DL2) post for constitutional matters, including the Basic Law. The holder of the post will provide specialised advice both to the Administration and other parts of Legal Department. Counsel in Law Drafting Division working on adaptation and localisation of laws or new legislation will particularly benefit from this advice. The incumbent of the proposed post will also work closely with counsel in the China Law Unit, who will continue to give advice on other laws of the PRC. The duty list of the proposed DPCC post is at Enclosure 8.
31. Following Finance Committee&'s approval, vide EC(93-94)53, AG created in January 1994 a dedicated team comprising one PCC and three DPCC posts for a period of 2 ¾ years up to 30 September 1996 for electoral and constitutional matters. As the electoral reform work has been completed, the AG therefore proposes to delete these posts on the same date as the two DPCC posts proposed for Legislative Council affairs (paragraph 27 refers) and constitutional/Basic Law matters (paragraph 30 refers) are created. Any residual work relating to electoral and constitutional matters will be absorbed by these two new DPCC posts.
32. The Law Reform Commission (LRC) Secretariat is responsible for considering reforms of the law as referred to it by the AG or the Chief Justice. Since its establishment in 1980, the workload of the Secretariat has increased substantially. In 1981, the first full year of the Commission&'s operation, the Commission met five times and there were eight sub-committee meetings held. In 1990, the figures were nine Commission meetings and 35 sub-committee meetings. In 1995, the Commission met nine times and there were 52 sub-committee meetings. The increase in the number of meetings has inevitably led to an increase in work for the Secretariat in servicing the sub-committees and preparing research materials for those meetings. In 1981, an average of 48 pages of material were prepared for each Commission meeting. In 1995, that figure rose to an average of 134 pages per meeting.
33. The above figures have not reflected the full extent of the increase in the Secretariat&'s workload. In contrast to the original working methods of the Commission whereby all subjects were dealt with through a specialist sub-committee; in recent years, at the request of the Commission, a number of projects have been undertaken by the Secretariat without the assistance of a sub-committee. The Commission finds this approach suitable for certain types of study where the initial work largely involves analysing the current law and overseas models, and where members of the Commission can subsequently decide upon reform proposals without additional work from a sub-committee. One such project was on divorce, which led to important reforms effected by the Matrimonial Causes (Amendment) Ordinance 1995. These law reform projects undertaken in-house have substantially increased the workload of the Secretariat.
34. Long-term projects currently under consideration by the LRC, such as a review of bankruptcy law and a proposal to introduce a new scheme for corporate rescue, represent a continuing commitment. In addition, there are regular calls on the LRC to take on new work. Most recently, the Secretary for Trade and Industry has asked the LRC to undertake a comprehensive study of contracts for the supply of goods. A sub-committee has recently started work on an examination of liability for unsafe products. A new sub-committee will shortly be formed to review the law of guardianship and custody. The LRC will also commence a study of sales descriptions of completed residential properties in Hong Kong. In addition, the Commission is conducting a study on Privacy and is examining telephone tapping and intrusion. All these studies are of considerable public interest and have substantial potential impact on the economy and society as a whole.
35. In the light of the importance and the sensitivity of the subjects tasked upon the Commission to review, the quality of research and review done by the Secretariat has to be very high and the recommendations have to be objective and unbiased. Most of the projects undertaken by the LRC are long-term, requiring detailed examination of a major area of law. All the Commission&'s final reports are published and thus subject to close scrutiny by lawyers and members of the public. Most of them result in amendments in legislation. It is therefore essential that there is direct supervision of the work and input at the directorate level.
36. There were two Directorate officers, namely a Secretary at PCC level and a Deputy Secretary at DPCC level, servicing the LRC in 1989. However in 1993-94, in order to meet a pressing need for an additional DPCC post in the Civil Division, AG, with the agreement of Finance Committee vide paper EC(93-94)56, redeployed the DPCC post of the LRC Secretariat to the Civil Division. While it was originally thought that the commitments of the LRC could be reduced and be met by a smaller secretariat, this has not been the case. Like any other mature jurisdiction, there is (and will continue to be) an ongoing need for law reform to ensure that the law is kept up-to-date and responds to the changing needs of society.
37. Given the increasing volume, complexity and sensitivity of work of the Commission and the need for professional inputs at directorate level in the preparation of commission reports, it has become clear that the only one directorate officer in the LRC Secretariat, a PCC, who is also the Secretary to the LRC, can no longer cope with the workload. Papers queue for his consideration and there will likely be serious delays in the completion of projects. To maintain the quality of commission reports, it is necessary to have another directorate officer to assist the PCC. Apart from assisting the PCC with editorial and supervisory work, the additional directorate officer will have to share responsibility for liaison with senior specialists in Hong Kong and abroad, with government policy branches, with professional organisations and other pressure groups whose views are sought as part of the law reform process. AG therefore proposes to re-create a DPCC post for the LRC to serve as the deputy secretary. A proposed duty list for the DPCC is at Enclosure 9.
38. Should Members approve all the staffing proposals in the paper, the revised organisation chart of the Department will be as shown in Enclosure 10.
39. The net additional notional annual salary cost of this proposal at MID-POINT is -
|Permanent Post||$||No. of Posts
|Principal Crown Counsel||2,745,600||2
|Deputy Principal Crown Counsel|| 3,547,800|| 3
|Administrative Officer Staff|| 1,182,600|| 1
|Less||Senior Administrative Officer||(807,240)|| (1)
40. The full annual average staff cost of the proposal, including salaries and staff on-costs, is $12,304,116.
41. In addition, this proposal will necessitate the creation of one Senior Crown Counsel and six Personal Secretary I posts at a notional annual mid-point salary cost of $2,246,520 and a full annual average staff cost of $3,912,060 (offset by the deletion of one Personal Secretary II post at a notional annual mid-point salary cost of $149,520 and a full annual average staff cost of $259,440).
42. We have included sufficient provision in the 1996-97 Estimates to meet the cost of this proposal.
43. Having regard to the increasing volume and complexity of work, the Civil Service Branch considers that the grading, ranking and number of posts proposed for creation and re-deployment are appropriate.
44. The Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service has advised that the grading proposed for the permanent posts would be appropriate if the posts were to be created.
Enclosure 1 to EC(96-97)22
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Enclosure 1a to EC(96-97)22
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Enclosure 1b to EC(96-97)22
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Enclosure 1c to EC(96-97)22
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Enclosure 2 to EC(96-97)22
Responsible to the Attorney General for -
(1) providing legal assistance to the Attorney General in respect of his work as legal adviser to the Governor, as members of the Executive Council and other committees, and in the discharge of his duties in respect of LegCo;
(2) briefing the Attorney General on legal issues coming within his policy responsibility;
(3) liaising with Branch Secretaries, Heads of Departments and the Law Officers on such legal issues as the Attorney General may direct;
(4) assisting the Attorney General in monitoring the progress of legislative proposals;
(5) briefing and assisting the Attorney General on legal issues in respect of official visitors and official invitations;
(6) drafting or revising speeches and statements with a high legal content to be delivered by the Attorney General;
(7) assisting the Attorney General in respect of the legal aspects of press statements, and questions and answers on issues raised by the media, or to be raised with the media;
(8) allocating work to and supervising such professional officers as may be assigned from time to time to the Attorney General&'s Office; and
(9) performing such other duties as the Attorney General may from time to time direct.
Enclosure 3 to EC(96-97)22
Responsible to the Attorney General for -
(1) providing general administrative support to the Attorney General;
(2) providing the Attorney General with background information on various subjects and assessing their political and social implications;
(3) liaising with senior Government officials and monitoring the implementation of the Attorney General&'s decisions;
(4) drafting speeches and statements other than those falling to the PCC to be delivered by the Attorney General;
(5) planning the Attorney General&'s programme of official visits, and duty trips, both locally and overseas, preparing briefs for such visits and taking such follow-up action as is required;
(6) planning meetings on various subjects and servicing them; and
(7) performing such other duties as the Attorney General may from time to time direct.
Enclosure 4 to EC(96-97)22
Responsible to the Solicitor General for -
(1) directing and supervising the day-to-day work in respect of incoming letters of request, asset recovery, surrender of fugitives, outgoing letters of request and the transfer of prisoners;
(2) developing good working relationships with mutual legal assistance authorities in other jurisdictions;
(3) attending international negotiations relating to mutual legal assistance;
(4) advising on and assisting in the preparation and promotion of domestic legislation giving effect to Hong Kong&'s mutual legal assistance agreements;
(5) providing guidance and training to counsel of the MLA Unit; and
(6) performing such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Solicitor General, including taking part in the overall management of the Legal Policy Division of Legal Department.
Enclosure 5 to EC(96-97)22
Responsible to the Principal Crown Counsel (Mutual Legal Assistance) for -
(1) directing and supervising the day-to-day work in respect of incoming letters of request and asset recovery;
(2) handling litigation and advising in relation to incoming letters of request;
(3) handling litigation, advising on, preparing or settling court papers and appearing in courts on matters relating to the restraint and confiscation of assets under the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance and the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance;
(4) providing legal advice in respect of Hong Kong&'s contribution to the Financial Action Task Force;
(5) managing and overseeing employment of outside professionals and ensuring their costs are reasonable; and
(6) performing such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Principal Crown Counsel (Mutual Legal Assistance), including taking part in the overall management of the MLA Unit.
Enclosure 6 to EC(96-97)22
Responsible to the Principal Crown Counsel (Mutual Legal Assistance) for -
(1) directing and supervising the day-to-day work in respect of surrender of fugitives, outgoing letters of request and the transfer of prisoners;
(2) drafting charges that comply with international treaties and conventions, and with the laws relating to the surrender of fugitives in other jurisdictions;
(3) overseeing the preparation of all necessary documentation connected with the surrender of fugitives;
(4) attending court proceedings connected with the surrender of fugitives, including those on behalf of foreign States seeking fugitives in Hong Kong;
(5) examining requisitions from foreign countries to ascertain their compliance with the Laws of Hong Kong and the terms of any relevant treaty;
(6) overseeing the preparation of letters of request in criminal matters to be issued to other jurisdictions;
(7) advising on requests for the transfer of prisoners to and from Hong Kong; and
(8) performing such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Principal Crown Counsel (Mutual Legal Assistance), including taking part in the overall management of the MLA Unit.
Enclosure 7 to EC(96-97)22
Responsible to the Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) for -
(1) directing and supervising the day-to-day work of the LegCo Unit;
(2) providing directorate support to the AG and other policy branches in the preparation and promotion of legislation;
(3) enhancing the liaison between the Legal Department and the Legislative Council;
(4) giving advice on the law and practices of the legislature; and
(5) performing such other duties as may be assigned form time to time by the Deputy Solicitor General.
Enclosure 8 to EC(96-97)22
Responsible to the Deputy Solicitor General of the Legal Policy Division for -
(1) directing and supervising the day-to-day work of the Constitutional/Basic Law Unit;
(2) providing directorate support to the AG and other departments on Basic Law and other constitutional issues;
(3) advising on public law litigation where appropriate; and
(4) performing such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Deputy Solicitor General.
Enclosure 9 to EC(96-97)22
Responsible to the Secretary, Law Reform Commission for -
(1) assisting the Commission Secretary in the execution of his duties, including the supervision and direction of counsel within the Commission;
(2) compilation of such Commission references as directed by the Secretary, including carrying out all necessary research and preparing the final report on behalf of the Commission;
(3) assisting in the administration of the Commission;
(4) carrying out the editorial work and organizing the publication of Commission reports and papers;
(5) planning and co-ordination of Commission research programmes;
(6) liaising with professional bodies, chambers of commerce, district boards, and such other bodies and individuals as have relevant input to the work of the Commission;
(7) such other duties as the Secretary, Law Reform Commission, may from time to time direct.
Enclosure 10 to EC(96-97)22
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Last Updated on 3 December 1998