The Legal Aid Department gained public attention at the end of last year for its handling of Law Wan Tung’s application for legal aid. Law first made global headlines for torturing Indonesian domestic worker Erwiana Sulistyaningsih and was sentenced to six years in jail in 2015.
Soon after she was jailed, she lodged a judicial review against the Legal Aid Department, after it refused to grant her financial aid to appeal against her convictions. The judicial review failed, and Law was ordered by the High Court to pay the Department of Justice HK$200,000 in legal costs.
I am sure Sulistyaningsih and her family will find the Court’s decision consoling. The case is also a perfect demonstration of why the city is considered to have one of the most accessible, efficient and fair legal aid systems in the world.
In this issue’s “Face to Face“, Hong Kong Lawyer talks to Thomas E Kwong, JP, Director of Legal Aid, and the mastermind behind Hong Kong’s world-renowned legal aid services. Looking back at his five-year reign, since being handed the top job in 2013, he shares his journey to the top and his noble ambition to help people in need.
In this month’s feature section, we have an inspiring and informative human rights story on protecting the rights of sexual minorities in Hong Kong.
The second feature focuses on China’s booming economy. The country’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are investment magnets for foreign investors. However, with such high concentration of foreign direct investment (FDI), the scope of international law protection afforded to foreign investors in SEZ is a major cause of concern. The writer shares her insights on managing the risks of investing in China’s SEZs.
In the third feature, the writer shares from an industry insider’s point of view, the hardships that legal professionals face with clients who refused to pay legal fees and the issues surrounding this.
I hope you enjoy the issue.
Lead Editor, Hong Kong Lawyer
Legal Media Group Thomson Reuters