Legal Aid Services Council Ordinance


Published: 1997-06-30

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Cap 489 - LEGAL AID SERVICES COUNCIL ORDINANCE 1

Chapter: 489 LEGAL AID SERVICES COUNCIL ORDINANCE Gazette Number Version Date

Long title 30/06/1997


To establish the Legal Aid Services Council and for related matters.
(Enacted 1996)


[30 August 1996] L.N. 380 of 1996


(Originally 17 of 1996)

Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997


(1) This Ordinance may be cited as the Legal Aid Services Council Ordinance.
(2) (Omitted as spent)

(Enacted 1996)

Section: 2 Interpretation 26 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 26 of 1999 s. 3


In this Ordinance-
"appointed member" (委任成員) means a member of the Council who is appointed by the Chief Executive and is not

a member by virtue of his holding an office specified in section 5(1)(d); (Amended 26 of 1999 s. 3)
"Council" (法援局) means the Legal Aids Services Council;
"Department" (法援署) means the Legal Aid Department;
"member" (成員) means a member of the Council and includes the Chairman of the Council;
"secretary" (秘書) means the secretary to the Council appointed under section 11.

(Enacted 1996)

Section: 3 Establishment of the Council 26 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 26 of 1999 s. 3


(1) There is established a body corporate to be known as the Legal Aid Services Council to supervise the
provision of legal aid services in Hong Kong provided by the Department and to advise the Chief Executive on legal
aid policy. (Amended 26 of 1999 s. 3)

(2) The Council has perpetual succession and is capable of suing and being sued in its corporate name.
(Enacted 1996)


Section: 4 Functions of the Council and relationship with the

Department
26 of 1999 01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 26 of 1999 s. 3


(1) The Council is responsible for overseeing the administration of the legal aid services provided by the
Department and the Department is accountable to the Council for the provision of such services.

(2) The Council may-
(a) subject to subsections (3) and (5), formulate policies governing the provision of services by the

Department and give advice on the policy direction of the Department;
(b) review the work of the Department from time to time and make such arrangements as are expedient



Cap 489 - LEGAL AID SERVICES COUNCIL ORDINANCE 2

and proper to ensure the efficient and economical discharge of the functions and provision of legal aid
services by the Department;

(c) keep under review the services provided by the Department and the plans for development of the
Department; and

(d) consider and advise on the estimates of expenditure of the Department.
(3) The Council shall not have the power to direct the Department on staff matters and the handling of

individual cases by the Department.
(4) The Department shall, subject to subsections (3) and (5), provide such information as is reasonably

requested by the Council for the purpose of this Ordinance.
(5) The Council is the Chief Executive's advisory body on the policy of the Government concerning publicly

funded legal aid services provided by the Department and shall advise on-
(a) the eligibility criteria, scope of services, mode of service delivery, future plans for improvements,

funding requirements and future development of legal aid policy;
(b) the feasibility and desirability of the establishment of an independent legal aid authority; and
(c) any other aspect of legal aid which the Chief Executive may from time to time refer to the Council.

(Amended 26 of 1999 s. 3)
(6) The Council shall not be regarded as an agent or servant of the Government.

(Enacted 1996)

Section: 4A Power of the Council 10 of 2005 08/07/2005


The Council may do all such things as are necessary to enable it to exercise its functions under this Ordinance,
and in particular may enter into, carry out, assign or accept the assignment of, vary or rescind any contract, agreement
or other obligation.

(Added 10 of 2005 s. 32)

Section: 5 Membership of the Council 26 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 26 of 1999 s. 3


(1) The Council consists of the following members-
(a) a Chairman who is not a public officer and who is not a barrister or solicitor or, in the opinion of the

Chief Executive, who is not connected in any other way directly with the practice of law;
(b) 2 barristers and 2 solicitors, each holding a practising certificate issued under the Legal Practitioners

Ordinance (Cap 159);
(c) 4 persons who, in the opinion of the Chief Executive, are not connected in any way with the practice of

law; and
(d) the Director of Legal Aid.

(2) The Chief Executive shall appoint the Chairman and the other members of the Council, who are not
members by virtue of their holding an office specified in subsection (1)(d), for a term not exceeding 2 years but an
appointed member may be reappointed.

(3) Before appointing a member under subsection (1)(b), the Chief Executive shall consult-
(a) the Bar Council of the Hong Kong Bar Association on the appointment of a barrister; and
(b) the Council of The Law Society of Hong Kong on the appointment of a solicitor.

(4) When consulted under subsection (3)-
(a) the Bar Council of the Hong Kong Bar Association may recommend any barrister; and
(b) the Council of The Law Society of Hong Kong may recommend any solicitor,

to the Chief Executive for appointment, but the Chief Executive may appoint a person other than the person so
recommended.

(5) An appointed member may resign by notice in writing to the Chief Executive.
(6) If an appointed member is absent from Hong Kong or is unable to act, the Chief Executive may appoint

another person to act as a temporary member.
(Amended 26 of 1999 s. 3)

(Enacted 1996)



Cap 489 - LEGAL AID SERVICES COUNCIL ORDINANCE 3


Section: 5A Staff of the Council 10 of 2005 08/07/2005


The Council may appoint such persons as it requires to exercise and perform its functions, powers and duties
under this Ordinance.

(Added 10 of 2005 s. 33)

Section: 6 Common seal 30/06/1997


(1) The Council has a common seal.
(2) The affixing of the seal shall be authenticated in such manner as the Council may decide.

(Enacted 1996)

Section: 7 Protection to members 30/06/1997


(1) A member who acts in good faith and in the course of the operation of the Council is not personally liable
for an act or omission of the Council.

(2) The protection given to the members of the Council for an act or omission does not affect the liability of the
Council for the act or omission.

(Enacted 1996)

Section: 8 Disclosure of interests by members 30/06/1997


(1) A member who is in any way directly or indirectly interested in a matter being considered by the Council
shall disclose the nature of his interest at a meeting of the Council.

(2) Where a member makes a disclosure in respect of a matter, the other members of the Council may decide
whether the member is able to take part in the deliberation of and voting on the matter.

(Enacted 1996)

Section: 9 Meetings 30/06/1997


(1) The Chairman may from time to time specify the time and place of meetings of the Council.
(2) The Chairman and at least 6 other members may exercise and perform the functions, powers and duties of

the Council.
(3) At a meeting of the Council, a resolution is effective if agreed by a majority vote of those present and in an

equality of votes, the Chairman also has a casting vote.
(Enacted 1996)


Section: 10 Written resolutions 30/06/1997


(1) The Council may resolve a matter without a meeting-
(a) by the secretary with the approval of the Chairman circulating a draft of the resolution on the matter

with a voting paper; and
(b) by members voting by signing the voting paper and returning it to the secretary.

(2) The resolution is effective if 7 of the members are in favour and no member notifies the secretary, on the
voting paper, that he requires the resolution to be discussed at a meeting.

(Enacted 1996)

Section: 11 Secretary 26 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 26 of 1999 s. 3


The Chief Executive shall appoint a secretary to the Council who is not a member of the Council.



Cap 489 - LEGAL AID SERVICES COUNCIL ORDINANCE 4

(Amended 26 of 1999 s. 3)
(Enacted 1996)


Section: 12 Reports 10 of 2005 08/07/2005


(1) The Council shall submit an annual report to the Chief Executive within 9 months of the end of each
financial year, or such longer period as the Chief Executive may allow. (Replaced 10 of 2005 s. 34)

(2) The Council shall cause a copy of the annual report to be laid before the Legislative Council not later than
on the third sitting day after submitting it to the Chief Executive.

(Amended 26 of 1999 s. 3)
(Enacted 1996)


Section: 13 Accounts 26 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 26 of 1999 s. 3


(1) The Director of Audit shall audit the accounts of the Council.
(2) The Council shall submit audited accounts for each financial year within 6 months of the end of the

financial year to the Chief Executive. (Amended 26 of 1999 s. 3)
(Enacted 1996)


Section: 14 (Omitted as spent) 30/06/1997


(Enacted 1996)

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