Club Lunch: Hong Kong’s Independent Judicial System – What Does the Future Hold?
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2015
12:30pm for 12:45pm – lunch
1:15pm – address
Speaker: Honourable Henry Litton GBM CBE JP,
Former Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal
Two sovereign nations, Britain and China, were locked in discussion 32 years ago over the future of Hong Kong. This eventually resulted in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which guaranteed the continuation of the common law system for 50 years as from 1 July 1997. This had underpinned Hong Kong’s prosperity since that time. Yet, 32 years from now would see us past 30 June 2047, so discussions had to start again, fairly soon, over the future of Hong Kong. This time Hong Kong would be on its own, without Britain arguing for the continuation of its system and lifestyle.
The question was this: Is the Judiciary sleepwalking towards 2047?
Mr. Litton was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1970 and co-founded the Hong Kong Law Journal, serving as its editor-in-chief for 21 years. He was Chairman of the Bar from 1971-1977. He was elevated from the Bar to the Court of Appeal in 1992, the first of such appointment in Hong Kong. Litton became Vice-President of the Court of Appeal in 1995 and a Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal in 1997 when China resumed its sovereignty over Hong Kong.