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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has accepted the Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission’s (JORC) advice on the appointment of Lord Patrick Hodge as non-permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal.

Subject to the Legislative Council’s endorsement, the Chief Executive will make the appointment under Article 88 of the Basic Law.

Mrs Lam said: “I am pleased to accept the JORC’s recommendation on the appointment of Lord Hodge as a non-permanent judge from another common law jurisdiction of the Court of Final Appeal.

“Lord Hodge has been appointed as Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom since February 2020. He is a judge of eminent standing and reputation. I am confident that he will be a great asset to the Court of Final Appeal.”

Mrs Lam added that with Lord Hodge’s appointment, the panel of non-permanent judges from other common law jurisdictions will consist of 14 eminent judges from the UK, Australia and Canada.

“The presence of these esteemed non-permanent judges manifests the judicial independence of Hong Kong, helps maintain a high degree of confidence in our legal system, and allows Hong Kong to maintain strong links with other common law jurisdictions.

“I have every confidence that these distinguished jurists from overseas with profound judicial experience will continue to be a unique strength of our judicial system.”

Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma welcomed the acceptance by the Chief Executive of the JORC’s recommendation on the appointment of Lord Hodge and noted that the Government would seek LegCo’s endorsement.

The recommended appointment of Lord Hodge will increase the number of non-permanent judges from other common law jurisdictions from 13 to 14, providing greater flexibility in dealing with the caseload of the Court of Final Appeal.    

Article 90 of the Basic Law provides that the Chief Executive shall obtain the endorsement of the Legislative Council on the appointment of judges of the Court of Final Appeal. The Government will seek its endorsement in due course.

Lord Patrick Hodge, a citizen of the UK, was born in Scotland in 1953. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1996. In 2013, he was appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the UK.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News