Chapter 1
Departmental Strategic Plan

The Department's strategic plan sets out our objectives and describes how the objectives can be achieved.  The strategic plan provides a rational basis upon which priorities are determined and is regularly updated to ensure that resources are well targeted and used effectively having regard to the changing needs of society.

The Department's strategic plan can be viewed at the Department's website.

Implementation of the Strategic Plan in 2009
Processing of Legal Aid Applications and Monitoring of Assigned Out cases:

Following the implementation of the Civil Justice Reform (CJR) in April 2009, mediation became an integral part of civil proceedings.  As a result, funding support was made available to aided persons involved in civil proceedings including matrimonial proceedings to attempt mediation as an alternate means of resolving disputes. 

In 2008, the Department launched a trial run on the use of checklists by assigned solicitors to report progress on major types of legal aid cases.  A survey was conducted upon the conclusion of the trial period in 2009 among assigned solicitors to evaluate the usefulness of checklists on progress of proceedings in the major types of legal aid cases.  Responses from the assigned solicitors showed that the checklists were of use to them in reporting progress of aided proceedings.  The Department would review the checklists to take into account of the impact of and the changes to procedures introduced by the CJR to civil proceedings.

Information System

To ensure smooth day-to-day operation, the Department replaced all the desktop and notebook computers installed in 2001 and equipped them with upgraded Office Automation software in mid-2009. 

As the computer hardware and software of the Case Management & Case Accounting System (CM&CAS) had been in use for over seven years and the performance of the system was approaching its limits, the Department submitted a funding bid in mid-2009 to upgrade the CM&CAS.

Upon the invitation of the OGCIO, the Department agreed to participate in a pilot study in formulating a departmental-wide Electronic Information Management (EIM) Strategy.  The pilot EIM strategy programme commenced in June 2009 and it was anticipated to be completed in August 2010. 

Customer Services

The Department accords high priority to enhancing customer services on an on-going basis.

In a further effort to promote the legal aid services among ethnic minorities residing in Hong Kong, the Department published two more leaflets on legal aid in Vietnamese and Punjabi.

(Rear row from left) Mr Allan Chan Wing-cho, Ms Juliana Chan Oi-yung, Miss Betty Chan King-wah, Ms Alice Chung Yee-ling, Mrs Annie Williams Ka-ding, Miss Linda Ng Wing-ping, Ms Doris Lui Wai-lan, Ms Mo Yuk-wah, Mrs Christina Hadiwibawa Cheung Ying-man, Mr Chris Chong Yan-tung
(Front row from left) Mr Thomas Edward Kwong, Mr Benjamin Cheung King-man, Ms Jennie Hui Lai-yung, Mr William Chan Heung-ping


The Department continued to promote public awareness and understanding of legal aid services in 2009.  Ms Juliana OY Chan, Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel from the Application and Processing Division appeared in Police Call in September 2009 to talk about the scope of legal aid services.  To promote the Law Week 2009, Mr Chris Chong, Assistant Principal Legal Aid Counsel from the Litigation Division also took part in a recording session which introduced the legal aid services of the Department to the public in November 2009.  In addition, a number of the Department's publications including "Contribution towards Costs of Legal Aid Case and Director of Legal Aid's First Charge", "How Your Financial Resources and Contribution are Calculated", "How to Apply Legal Aid in Civil Cases" and "Customer Service Standards" were revised and updated.

January 6
Senior Legal Aid Counsel/Application and Processing, Mr Francis Chan (first from left) gave a briefing to a group of students from National University of Singapore and University of Hong Kong and shared views about the legal aid services in both places.


A wide range of courses were arranged in 2009 to meet the training needs of staff at all levels.

Training courses included in-house workshop on EQ Training on Better Customer Service, supervisory management courses for newly appointed Senior Law Clerks, in-house job-related talks on Legal Aid Ordinance for newly appointed Legal Aid Counsel.  Talks on how to conduct means test, mediation, Code on Access to Information and Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance were for both legal aid counsel grade and law clerk grade officers.  In-house Putonghua courses were also organised for directorate staff.

February 26
Director of Legal Aid, Mr Benjamin Cheung received the Vice-minister of the Ministry of Justice, China, Mr Zhao Dacheng, and briefed him on work of the Department.