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

¡§2010 Law Week¡¨

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 2010¡¨. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the opening ceremony of 2010 Law Week was held on 4 December, 2010 at the Kwai Tsing Theatre. Officiating guests included the Chief Justice, the Honourable Mr Justice Geoffrey Ma, the Secretary for Justice, Mr Wong Yan Lung SC, Legislative Council Member the Honourable Ms Margaret Ng, the Chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association Mr Russell Coleman, the President of the Law Society Mr Huen Wong and the Director of Legal Aid, Mr William Chan. In addition, Mrs Christina Hadiwibawa, Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel from the Litigation Division, took part in one of the TV episodes as part of the promotional programme of Law Week introducing the availability of lodging the pre-application for legal aid through the Department¡¦s e-portal.




Director of Legal Aid, Mr William Chan (second from left) officiated at the Opening Ceremony of 2010 Law Week on 4 December 2010 together with other guests.


Promotion of Legal Aid Services to external bodies/organizations

To enhance public understanding and awareness of legal aid services, during the year the Department provided a number of talks on legal aid services to external bodies/organisations. In March 2010, Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel (Application and Processing), Ms. Juliana OY Chan, joined the Hon Margaret Ng at Wang Tau Hom Estate to introduce civil legal aid service of the Department to some residents from Kowloon East district. In April, Assistant Director (Policy and Development), Ms Alice Chung and Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel (Legal & Management Support) Ms Doris Lui gave a talk about career in the Legal Aid Department to law students of the University of Hong Kong.




Picture shows Acting Deputy Director of Legal Aid (Administration), Ms. Alice Chung (fourth from left), and Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel (Legal and Management Support), Ms. Doris Lui (third from left), together with the students from the Law Faculty after the seminar.


Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel (Civil Litigation), Mrs Christina Hadiwibawa has given talks on civil legal aid and family related legal aid services at the University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Baptist University and the Hong Kong Shue Yan University in April, June and November respectively.




Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel (Civil Litigation), Mrs. Christina Hadiwibawa (right) gave a guest lecture on Hong Kong legal aid services to some 60 students of the Shue Yan University on 3 November 2010.


Senior Legal Aid Counsel (Application & Processing Division), Ms KM Lee has given a talk introducing legal aid services to the Po Leung Kuk Wai On Home in October.

Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel (Civil Litigation), Mr. Chris Chong, spoke at a seminar hosted by SAFP of the Macau SAR Government on comparison of the legal aid systems in the four regions across the Strait ¡V Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau on 26 September 2010 on the Hong Kong legal aid system.

To promote the effectiveness of mediation which is now covered by legal aid, Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel (Application & Processing Division) Ms Juliana OY Chan has given a talk on Legal Aid and Mediation Services in a seminar organised by the Legal Aid Services Council in April 2010.




Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel (Application and Processing), Ms. Juliana OY Chan (left) received a souvenir from Mr. Paul Chan (right), the Chairman of the Legal Aid Services Council, after speaking at the Seminar on Mediation.


Visits to Department

During the year 2010, the Department received a total of 24 delegations/groups:

24 delegations/groups including:
Overseas bodies
  • Law students from Murdoch University, Australia
  • A delegation from the Vietnamese People¡¦s Police Academy
  • The Honorable Sir John Hansen from New Zealand
  • Mr Pang Kin Keong, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Law, Singapore




Assistant Director of Legal Aid (Application and Processing), Mrs. Annie Williams (fifth from right in the front row) and Legal Aid Counsel (Civil Litigation), Miss Doreen Chan (sixth from right in the right row) explained the legal aid system in Hong Kong to a visiting delegation of law students from Murdoch University, Perth, Australia on 13 January 2010 and briefed them on the service and operation of our Department.

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Mainland bodies ¡V Students
  • Law students from Peking University School of Transnational Law
  • Professor and law students from Shantou University
  • Law students and NGO personnel from China




Senior Legal Aid Counsel, Ms. Juliana MK Chan (fifth from right in the front row) and Ms. Mandy Chow (sixth from right in the front row) explained the role and function of Legal Aid Department to 22 law students from Peking University School of Transnational Law on 29 January 2010.





Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel (Legal and Management Support), Ms. Doris Lui (middle), and Senior Legal Aid Counsel (Application and Processing), Ms. Margaret Leung, (sixth from left), gave a briefing to a group of law students from Shantou University from Guangdong on the role, mission and operation of the Department on 23 July 2010.


Mainland bodies ¡V Academics
  • A group of law professors from Mainland universities and delegates of legal aid centres from Shandong Province
  • 3 legal academics from China




Deputy Director of Legal Aid (Litigation), Ms. Jennie Hui (centre front), Assistant Director of Legal Aid (Litigation), Mr. Allan Chan (fourth from right) and Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel (Civil Litigation), Ms. Christina Hadiwibawa (second from right) took a group photograph with a delegation of law professors and researchers from universities of Mainland China after their visit on 21 January 2010.





Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel (Application and Processing), Ms. Linda Ng (third from left), and Senior Legal Aid Counsel, Ms. Angela Mo (second from left) met with legal academics from Mainland universities on 12 May 2010 to explain the role and operation of the Department.


Mainland bodies ¡V Officials
  • A group of Chinese Senior Judges from China
  • Ms Xin Chunying, Deputy Director of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People¡¦s Congress, the People¡¦s Republic of China
  • Mainland Officials under Training Scheme in Common Law
  • Officials from Mainland Justice Departments/Bureaux
  • A delegation of 23 Senior Government Officials from Hainan Province
  • Mr Su Zelin, Vice President of the Supreme People¡¦s Court of the People¡¦s Republic of China
  • Mr Guo Xingwang, Director General of International Cooperation Bureau of the Supreme People¡¦s Procuratorate of the People¡¦s Republic of China
  • Mr Zhang Sujun, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Justice of the People¡¦s Republic of China




Deputy Director of Legal Aid (Application and Processing), Mr. Thomas Kwong (Centre), and Acting Deputy Director of Legal Aid (Administration), Ms. Alice Chung (left), received Deputy Director of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People¡¦s Congress, People of Republic China, Ms. Xin Chunying (right), on 1 March 2010 and briefed her on works of the Department.





The Director of the Legal Aid, Mr William Chan (fourth from left), Deputy Director of Legal Aid/Application and Processing, Mr Thomas Kwong (third from left) and Acting Deputy Director of Legal Aid/Administration, Ms Alice Chung (fourth from right) received a delegation headed by the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Justice of the People of Republic China, Mr Zhang Sujun (middle) on 14 December, 2010.


Mainland bodies ¡V Lawyers
  • A delegation of Mainland Lawyers under the arrangement of China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group
  • A delegation of Mainland lawyers




Senior Legal Aid Counsel (Application and Processing), Mr. Francis Chan (left) and Legal Aid Counsel, Ms. Emily Ho (second from left), giving a presentation for a group of mainland lawyers on 29 July 2010, and briefed them on the Department¡¦s role in dealing with legal aid cases.


Local bodies
  • Staff from Po Leung Kuk Tsui Lam Centre
  • A group of interns from law firms under the arrangement of Messrs. Johnson Strokes and Master
  • Chairman and staff from Hong Kong Seamen¡¦s Union
  • A group of 38 new women immigrants
  • A group of F.5-F.7 students




Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel (Civil Litigation), Ms. Christina Hadiwibawa (second from left), Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel (Application and Processing), Miss Linda Ng, (left) and Legal Aid Counsel (Civil Litigation), Miss Doreen Chan (right), shared their experience with representatives from Po Leung Kuk and explained legal aid services in support of cases involving domestic violence victims on 7 July 2010.





Deputy Director of Legal Aid (Application and Processing), Mr. Thomas Kwong (third from left), Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel (Application and Processing), Ms. Sherman Cheung (second from left) and Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel (Application and Processing), Ms. Linda Ng (first from left) met with the Chairman and delegates of the Hong Kong Seaman¡¦s Union on 21 October 2010 and briefed them the criteria and procedures for applying civil legal aid.


Media Enquiries

In 2010, the Department¡¦s Information Unit handled about 500 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.




Publications

Throughout the year, the Department is approached by many querying the grant of legal aid to certain aided persons on grounds of means or merits. The Department deals with representation against grant of legal aid in a professional and independent manner. However, because of personal data privacy and legal professional privileges, the Department is unable to disclose details or the outcome of investigation to the representor and this has led to doubts and misunderstanding about the role of the Department and the effectiveness of the representation process. To address frequently asked questions and to improve transparency, the Department published a leaflet on steps taken when the Department received representation against granting of legal aid to any aided person. The leaflet is available from the Department and can also be downloaded from the Department¡¦s website.

To further promote the availability of legal aid services to ethnic minorities, the Department published an information leaflet on legal aid in Tamil in addition to Bengali, Indonesian, Nepali, Hindi, Punjabi, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese.




In an effort to combat and educate the public not to engage the services of recovery agents in pursuing their claims for damages for personal injuries suffered in an accident, the Department updated a poster warning the public of the risks of using recovery agents.




The Financial Information Sheet, which contained 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 2010. The Department has also updated several other publications including How to Apply Legal Aid in Criminal Cases, How to Apply Legal Aid Under the Supplementary Legal Aid Scheme and How to Apply Legal Services to provide more comprehensive and updated information to the public. These publications were uploaded to the Department¡¦s website.

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 2010, the Department revamped its website making it more user-friendly and up-to-day. Animations with flash were created at the lower part of the website which enhanced navigability and usability. Animated graphics were used to draw the attention of the public to important issues concerning legal aid services such as using PPS to make legal aid payment, changes in the interest rate on the Director¡¦s First Charge and personal allowances.