The Chairman’s Report can be seen here.
The Honourable Justice Johnson Law Man Hon, VP delivered a rousing paper focused upon the development of the family law justice system in Hong Kong. He considers that soul searching questions are required of relevant professional and stakeholders which should not be confined to the redevelopment of the family law court and its relocation to new premises in Causeway Bay. Judicial investigation has been conducted to examine foreign law systems to assist in local understanding of how the family law system in Hong Kong can meet family demands.
Mr Justice Lam, called for lawyers and judges alike to focus less on the legal issues but rather to apply their minds to focus on the rebalancing of the family. That a holistic approach is required to deliver balanced family justice within a reasonable time and at proportionate cost.
He lamented the low Judge to cause ratio resulting is exceptionally high case loads for judges in Hong Kong providing a pressing need to address procedural and systemic failings within the system perhaps by the introduction of Masters within the Family Court. Other options were to improve the synergy between the litigation process and the mediation process which often runs parallel. Improvements in the quality of mediation and recourse to counselling will all improve the understanding of the parties and provide them their own opportunities to create long lasting solutions to their own individual circumstance.
The HKFLA sincerely thanks Mr Justice Lam for his time and we are sure the members of our association and the wider professions will have cause to continue to debate and look to provide solutions to our families here in Hong Kong.
The Hon Mr Justice Lam was born in Hong Kong in 1961. He obtained an LL.B. and P.C.LL. from the University of Hong Kong in 1983 and 1984 respectively. He was called to the Bar in Hong Kong in 1984 and was in private practice since 1985 until he joined the Judiciary as District Judge in 2001. He was appointed as Judge of the Court of First Instance of the High Court in 2003 and Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal of the High Court in 2012. He was appointed Vice President of the Court of Appeal of the High Court in September 2, 2013. He is currently the Vice-President of the Court of Appeal of the High Court, Chairman of the Judiciary’s Working Party on Mediation as well as the Member of the Steering Committee on Mediation and the Accreditation Sub-committee set up by the Secretary for Justice.*
*Source – Judiciary website