Legal Aid department
Legal Aid department annual report 2008
Foreword
Departmental Strategic Plan
Legal Aid Services
Cases of Public Interest or Concern
Improving the Way We Work
Publicity Programmes
Organisation, Administration and Staffing
Appendix
Revenue and Expenditure
Findings of the Survey on Customer Feedback
Legal Aid Department Organisation Chart
Director of Legal Aid and Section Heads
Address and Communication
List of Publications

Chapter 5
Publicity Programmes

The Department is committed to promoting public awareness and understanding of the services it provides and to enhancing communication with our stakeholders.

Promotional Activities

"Law Week 2008"

The Department teamed up with the Law Society to promote awareness of the rule of law and availability of legal aid services during the "Law Week 2008".  The Opening Ceremony of "Law Week 2008" was held on 6 December at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.  The officiating guests included the Chief Justice, the Honourable Mr Justice Andrew Li, the Secretary for Justice, Mr Wong Yan Lung SC, the Honourable Ms Margaret Ng, the Honourable Mr Paul Chan Mo Po, Chairman of the Legal Aid Services Council, Mr Paul WT Shieh SC, Vice-Chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association and Mr Benjamin Cheung, the Director of Legal Aid.

 

Talks Delivered to and Visits of Non-Governmental Organisations and Other Organisations

To enhance public understanding and awareness of legal aid services and to elicit views on improvements to our services, the Department arranged talks to non-governmental organisations and other bodies during the year.  A talk on Legal Aid Service in Hong Kong was given to the School of Business and Information Systems on 20 February.  In July, Legal Aid Department was invited by Social Welfare Department to participate in two briefings on Domestic Violence (Amendment) Ordinance and Anti-Violence Programme to social workers of the Social Welfare Department and non-governmental organisations.  The Department also delivered talks on Legal Aid services to Hong Kong Federation of Women's Centres and the HKU Family Institute in November and December respectively.

September 17
Senior Legal Aid Counsel, Ms Angela Mo (second from right), was explaining the legal aid services in Hong Kong to a group of Mainland officials from Zhongshan City.

Visits to Department

During the year 2008, the Department received a total of 25 delegations/groups :

Media Enquiries

In 2008, the Department's Information Unit handled about 850 enquiries from the media.

LAD News

The Legal Aid Department News (LAD News) is published to enhance public awareness and understanding of legal aid and to keep the public informed of developments in legal aid services.

Printed copies of the newsletter were placed in the reception areas of the various offices of the Department and were distributed to public enquiry counters of the Home Affairs Department, non-governmental organisations, correctional institutions, court liaison officers etc.  Past and current issues of the LAD News were also regularly uploaded onto the Department's website.

December 2
Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel/Civil Litigation 1, Mr Chris Chong (fifth from left) received a delegation of lawyers and officials from Po On District Judiciary, Shenzhen.

Publications

As legal aid is available to all, information leaflets on legal aid services in seven ethic minorities languages including Bengali, Hindi, Indonesian, Nepali, Tagalog, Thai and Urdu were published to help make the services known to as many people as possible.  

The information leaflets are available from the Department, the relevant consulates, government departments such as the Correctional Services Department, Judiciary Resources Centre, Labour Department, Police Stations and Public Enquiries Service Centres of the Home Affairs Department.  The information leaflets can also be downloaded from the Department's website.

The Financial Information Sheet which contained comprehensive information on current eligibility limit, personal allowances, contributions for Ordinary Legal Aid Scheme and Director of Legal Aid's First Charge prescribed interest rate was revised to reflect changes implemented in 2008.

To further promote legal aid services and enhance understanding of legal aid among the general public, the Department published 4 more leaflets in Simplified Chinese including Contribution towards Costs of Legal Aid Case and Director of Legal Aid's First Charge, Important Notice for Legally-Aided Persons (Application and Processing Division), Important Notice for Legally-Aided Persons (Crime Section) and Customer Services Standards.  

A list of publications of the Department is at Appendix 6.

Website

The Department regularly updates the contents of its website to provide comprehensive and timely information to the public and legal aid practitioners.  In 2008, in addition to uploading messages on the website concerning changes in the contribution rates and personal allowances, information leaflets on legal aid services in Bengali, Hindi, Indonesian, Nepali, Tagalog, Thai and Urdu were also uploaded onto the Department's website. 

The Department's website was also revised to adopt the ISO/IEC 10646 standard to cope with the revision in coding of the Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set and to ensure legible format of Chinese characters are displayed in electronic communication with different parts of the world. There was improvement to the design of the website by including a prominent link to our privacy policy which was revised during the year and creating a webpage to highlight the new events / services implemented by the Department. 

A link to the Legal Aid Electronic Services Portal (LAESP) launched at the end of 2008 was also created in the Department's website to facilitate access by users.

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