Legal Officers Ordinance


Published: 1997-06-30

Subscribe to a Global-Regulation Premium Membership Today!

Key Benefits:

Subscribe Now for only USD$20 per month, or Get a Day Pass for only USD$4.99.
Cap 87 - LEGAL OFFICERS ORDINANCE 1

Chapter: 87 LEGAL OFFICERS ORDINANCE Gazette Number Version Date

Long title 30/06/1997


To consolidate and amend the law relating to the right of officers of the legal departments of Government to practise
as barristers and solicitors for certain purposes and to recover fees and costs in respect of work done and
generally to regulate the status rights privileges and duties of such officers.


[10 March 1950]


(Originally 3 of 1950 (Cap 87 1950))

Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997


This Ordinance may be cited as the Legal Officers Ordinance.

Section: 2 Interpretation L.N. 87 of 2003 28/03/2003


In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-
"duly admitted" (妥為認許) means duly approved, admitted and enrolled as a barrister or solicitor under the Legal

Practitioners Ordinance (Cap 159);
"legal officer" (律政人員) means an officer appointed to and serving in Hong Kong as a legal officer, or an officer

lawfully performing the functions of any of the officers designated in Schedule 1; (Amended 11 of 1999 s. 3; 42
of 2000 s. 22)

"public body" (公共機構 ) includes any executive, legislative, municipal, or urban council, any Government
department or undertaking, any local or public authority or undertaking, any board, commission, committee or
other body whether paid or unpaid appointed by the Chief Executive or the Government or which has power to
act in a public capacity under or for the purposes of any enactment; (Amended 11 of 1999 s. 3)

"public servant" (公務員) means in addition to the meaning assigned to it by the Interpretation and General Clauses
Ordinance (Cap 1), any employee or member of a public body as defined in this Ordinance, whether temporary
or permanent and whether paid or unpaid;

"rights" (權利) includes powers, privileges and discretions;
"tribunal" (審裁處) includes any council, committee, arbitrator, body or person before which a barrister or solicitor

may lawfully appear.

Section: 2A Appointment qualification L.N. 87 of 2003 28/03/2003


No person shall be appointed as a legal officer unless he has been admitted as a legal practitioner in Hong Kong,
the United Kingdom or in a jurisdiction listed in Schedule 2.

(Added 47 of 1989 s. 2. Amended 42 of 2000 s. 23)

Section: 3 Rights and privileges of a legal officer L.N. 87 of 2003 28/03/2003


(1) Any legal officer shall in respect of any of the matters mentioned in section 4(1) have all the rights of
barristers and solicitors duly admitted under the provisions of the Legal Practitioners Ordinance (Cap 159).

(2) For the avoidance of doubt and without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) a legal officer shall in
respect of any of the matters mentioned in section 4(1) have a right of audience before any court or tribunal.

(3) Notification in the Gazette to the effect that a person has been appointed to or holds any of the offices
designated in Schedule 1 or has relinquished or no longer holds any of the said offices, shall be sufficient proof of the
facts therein stated. (Amended 42 of 2000 s. 24)




Cap 87 - LEGAL OFFICERS ORDINANCE 2

Section: 4 Matters in which legal officers may act L.N. 362 of 1997;
11 of 1999

01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 11 of 1999 s. 3


(1) The matters referred to in section 3(1) are-
(a) any matter which by virtue of any enactment in force in Hong Kong or under any law applicable to

Hong Kong is entrusted to, or is within the discretion or control of or requires to be discharged by, the
Secretary for Justice; (Amended 11 of 1999 s. 3)

(b) any matter in which the Government is interested; (Amended 11 of 1999 s. 3)
(c) any proceedings relating to surrender of fugitive offenders; (Amended 23 of 1997 s. 28(2))
(d) any matter which relates to the official acts or omissions of-

(i) the naval, military or air authorities; or
(ii) (Repealed 11 of 1999 s. 3)
(iii) any public body or public servant.

(2) If in any case doubt should arise whether any matter is a matter mentioned in subsection (1) a certificate
under the hand of the Secretary for Justice on the question shall be final and conclusive for all purposes.

(Amended L.N. 362 of 1997)

Section: 5 Rights of Secretary for Justice 11 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 11 of 1999 s. 3


All rights which were enjoyed by the then Attorney General immediately before 1 July 1997 in the courts of
Hong Kong, except for those that are inconsistent with the Basic Law, shall on and after that date be exercisable by the
Secretary for Justice.

(Replaced 11 of 1999 s. 3)
___________________________________________________________________
Note:
This section has been repealed and replaced since 1 July 1997. The section as it read immediately before 1
July 1997 is reproduced as follows:


"5. Rights of Attorney General


The Attorney General shall be entitled in the courts of the Colony to the same rights as are enjoyed
in England by the Attorney General of England.".


Section: 6 Rights and duties of Secretary for Justice in proceedings

under Matrimonial Causes Ordinance
11 of 1999 01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 11 of 1999 s. 3


All rights and duties which were exercisable or dischargeable by the then Attorney General immediately before
1 July 1997 so far as regards any proceedings over which the courts of Hong Kong had jurisdiction by or by virtue of
the Matrimonial Causes Ordinance (Cap 179), except for those that are inconsistent with the Basic Law, shall on and
after that date be exercisable or dischargeable by the Secretary for Justice.

(Replaced 11 of 1999 s. 3)
___________________________________________________________________
Note:
This section has been repealed and replaced since 1 July 1997. The section as it read immediately before 1
July 1997 is reproduced as follows:


"6. Attorney General to act as Queen's Proctor



Cap 87 - LEGAL OFFICERS ORDINANCE 3


The Attorney General shall exercise and discharge so far as regards any proceedings over which

the courts of the Colony have jurisdiction by or by virtue of the Matrimonial Causes Ordinance (Cap
179), the rights and duties which in England are customarily exercised and discharged by the Queen's
Proctor.".


Section: 7 Secretary for Justice may authorize a legal officer to

discharge duties vested or imposed on Secretary for Justice
L.N. 362 of 1997;
11 of 1999

01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 11 of 1999 s. 3


(1) The Secretary for Justice may, subject to any special instructions of the Chief Executive, authorize any legal
officer to exercise and discharge any of the rights and duties which the Secretary for Justice is by law or by any
enactment to which this section applies entitled to exercise or required to discharge. (Amended L.N. 362 of 1997; 11
of 1999 s. 3)

(2) The enactments to which this section applies are-
(a) any enactment passed before the commencement of this Ordinance; and
(b) any enactment passed after the commencement of this Ordinance which does not expressly provide

that this section shall not apply thereto.

Section: 8 (Repealed 13 of 1979 s. 3) 30/06/1997




Section: 9 Evidence of signature L.N. 362 of 1997 01/07/1997


Any certificate or document purporting to be given or made in the exercise or discharge of any of the rights and
duties-

(a) which the Secretary for Justice is by law or any enactment entitled to exercise or discharge; or
(b) which any legal officer is authorized under section 7 to exercise or discharge,

shall be received as prima facie evidence in any proceeding without proof being given that the signature to such
certificate or document is that of the Secretary for Justice or of such legal officer, as the case may be.

(Replaced 13 of 1979 s. 4. Amended L.N. 362 of 1997)

Section: 10 Fees and costs 11 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 11 of 1999 s. 3


(1) The Chief Justice may make rules providing either generally or specially for the fees and costs of legal
officers in contentious and non-contentious matters:

Provided that no such rules shall be binding until the same have been approved by resolution of the Legislative
Council and have been published in the Gazette.

(2) Any costs and fees received by a legal officer hereunder shall be paid into the general revenue. (Amended
11 of 1999 s. 3)

Section: 11 Power of the Chief Executive to amend Schedule 1 L.N. 87 of 2003 28/03/2003


The Chief Executive may by order amend Schedule 1 in any manner consistent with the Appropriation
Ordinance from time to time in force.

(Amended 11 of 1999 s. 3; 42 of 2000 s. 25)




Cap 87 - LEGAL OFFICERS ORDINANCE 4

Section: 12 Right to practise as barrister or solicitor after ceasing to be
a legal officer unaffected by provisions of Ordinance

30/06/1997



Nothing in this Ordinance contained shall-
(a) be deemed to confer upon a person who has not been duly admitted any right to practise as a barrister

or solicitor after he has ceased to be a legal officer; or
(b) detract from the professional status of any legal officer or affect the right of any duly admitted person

to practise as a barrister or solicitor as the case may be after he has ceased to be a legal officer.

Schedule: 1 25 of 2008 11/07/2008


[sections 2, 3 & 11]
(Amended 42 of 2000 s. 26)


DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE


Secretary for Justice.
Law Officer.
Director of Public Prosecutions.
Law Officer (Civil Law).
Law Draftsman.
Solicitor General.
Principal Government Counsel.
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions.
Deputy Law Officer (Civil Law).
Deputy Law Draftsman.
Deputy Solicitor General.
Deputy Principal Government Counsel.
Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions.
Senior Assistant Law Officer (Civil Law).
Senior Assistant Law Draftsman.
Senior Assistant Solicitor General.
Assistant Principal Government Counsel.
Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions.
Assistant Law Officer (Civil Law).
Assistant Law Draftsman.
Assistant Solicitor General.
Senior Government Counsel.
Senior Public Prosecutor.
Government Counsel.
Public Prosecutor.


LANDS DEPARTMENT


Principal Solicitor, Legal Advisory and Conveyancing Office.
Deputy Principal Solicitor, Legal Advisory and Conveyancing Office.
Assistant Principal Solicitor, Legal Advisory and Conveyancing Office.
Senior Solicitor, Legal Advisory and Conveyancing Office.
Solicitor, Legal Advisory and Conveyancing Office.


COMPANIES REGISTRY


Deputy Principal Solicitor, Companies Registry.
Assistant Principal Solicitor, Companies Registry.
Senior Solicitor, Companies Registry.



Cap 87 - LEGAL OFFICERS ORDINANCE 5

Solicitor, Companies Registry.


LAND REGISTRY

Deputy Principal Solicitor, Land Registry.
Assistant Principal Solicitor, Land Registry.
Senior Solicitor, Land Registry.
Solicitor, Land Registry.

(Replaced L.N. 129 of 1979. Amended L.N. 116 of 1980; 8 of 1993 s. 9; L.N. 291 of 1993; L.N. 373 of 1994;
11 of 1999 s. 3; L.N. 105 of 2005; 25 of 2008 s. 2)


Schedule: 2 L.N. 87 of 2003 28/03/2003


[section 2A]


1. The States and Territories of the Commonwealth of Australia.
2. The Territories and Provinces of Canada, except Quebec.
3. New Zealand.
4. The Republic of Ireland.
5. Zimbabwe.
6. Singapore.

(Schedule 2 added 42 of 2000 s. 27)

Related Laws