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Early Retirement of the Honourable Chief Justice Andrew Li

The following is issued on behalf of the Judiciary:

     The Honourable Chief Justice Mr Andrew Kwok-nang Li has decided to take early retirement.  He has written to the Chief Executive to give notice of early retirement, ceasing service on August 31, 2010 and commencing pre-retirement leave on September 1, 2010.

     "I believe that my early retirement is in the best interests of the Judiciary.  My early retirement will be conducive to orderly succession planning in the Judiciary in the coming years.  Further, by August 31, 2010, I would have completed 13 years service as Chief Justice and I consider it is appropriate for there to be a change in the leadership of the Judiciary after such a period.  Taking early retirement is also consistent with my personal wishes.  I would have worked for over 37 years by August 2010," the Chief Justice stated.

     The Chief Justice reiterated that an independent Judiciary upholding the rule of law and safeguarding the rights and freedoms of the individual is a cornerstone of Hong Kong society.  In his letter to the Chief Executive, the Chief Justice stated that the Administration under the leadership of the Chief Executive Mr Donald Tsang and that of his predecessor has always respected judicial independence and he thanked the Administration for its support of the Judiciary's administration and operation.  

     The Chief Justice considers it the greatest honour for him to serve as the first Chief Justice of Hong Kong in the new constitutional order as part of China under the principle "one country, two systems".  

     On retirement, the Chief Justice will be leaving public life.  

Ends/Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Issued at HKT 16:05


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