CS visits Legal Aid Department (with photos)
Mrs Lam started her visit by meeting the Director of Legal Aid, Mr Thomas Kwong, and other senior officers of the department. They shared with Mrs Lam the work of various divisions and the challenges they are facing.
Accompanied by Mr Kwong, Mrs Lam then toured the Legal and Management Support (LMS) Section under the Policy and Administration Division to find out more about the section’s electronic case management measures that have been put in place to meet operational needs in recent years. The LMS Section is mainly responsible for providing information technology and management support to the department, assessing bills of costs submitted by assigned lawyers, attending legal aid taxation hearings and conducting enforcement proceedings for the recovery of judgment debts and costs in legally aided cases.
She then visited the Application and Processing Division and received a briefing from officers on the assessment of applicants' eligibility for civil legal aid on means and on merits. The division also provides information to and handles enquiries from the public on matters related to the coverage of legal aid, the financial eligibility limits and the procedures for applying for legal aid.
Later, she was given a tour of the Crime Section and Civil Litigation Section 1 of the Litigation Division to understand better the litigation services provided by the team.
During the visit, Mrs Lam stressed that legal aid services are an integral part of Hong Kong’s legal system. She thanked the department for its commitment to ensure that any person who fulfills the requirements of the Legal Aid Ordinance (Cap 91) and with reasonable grounds for pursuing or defending a legal action in the Hong Kong courts will not be denied access to justice because of a lack of means. She was pleased to hear that the department has been maintaining close liaison and co-operation with the legal profession to provide quality legal aid services. She encouraged colleagues of the Legal Aid Department to keep up their good spirit, professionalism and dedication to serve the community.
Ends/Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:22
Issued at HKT 17:22