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About the Exhibition


has kindly donated various items of interest from his working life, including items of court dress, to the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong.

Mr Li has often emphasized the importance of court dress, stating: “It is important for judges and advocates to wear a uniform in court. This is conducive to maintaining the dignity of the court and the judicial process. Equally important, putting it on should remind the judge and the advocate of their respective important responsibilities: The judge to adjudicate disputes between citizens and between citizen and Government fairly and impartially without fear or favour. The advocate to advance his client’s case fearlessly, whilst at the same time, discharging fully his duties to the Court. The judge and the advocate must always remember that they themselves are on trial in the court of professional and public opinion.”

The EXHIBITS consist of the following:

Instrument of Appointment appointing Mr Li as Chief Justice. (Pillar)

Door plate of Mr Li’s chambers as Chief Justice. (Pillar)

Court dress worn by Mr Li in the Court of Final Appeal, consisting of a robe and jabot as neckwear. This is also worn on ceremonial occasions. (Small case)

GBM Medal: The Grand Bauhinia Medal was awarded to Mr Li in 2008 by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for his distinguished leadership of the Judiciary. (Pillar)

CBE Medal: The Medal of the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire was awarded to Mr Li in 1993 for community service by Her Majesty the Queen. (Pillar)

Mr Li’s court dress as junior barrister consisting of wig, gown and wing collar and bands, the oval-shaped wig box inscribed with his name and a red bag sewn with his name for carrying these items. A barrister uses a blue bag and may be awarded a red bag by a Queen’s Counsel (replaced by Senior Counsel after 1997) for outstanding work. (Large case)

Mr Li’s ceremonial dress as a Queen’s Counsel consisting of a long wig (with a rectangular wig box for its storage), jabot as neckgear, court coat, waistcoat, silk gown, lace cuffs, white gloves, black breeches, silk stockings and buckled shoes. This elaborate form of dress is only worn by a Queen’s Counsel on ceremonial occasions such as the annual Opening of the Legal Year. For court appearances, however, the dress of a Queen’s Counsel is much simpler, consisting of a short wig, wing collar and bands, court coat and a silk gown. (Large case)

Before 1997, appointment as a Queen’s Counsel, QC, was made by the Governor on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. An Instrument of Appointment by Letters Patent (Pillar) appointing Mr Li as a Queen’s Counsel in 1988 was executed for this purpose. After 1997, this rank was replaced by Senior Counsel, SC. Appointment as SC is made by the Chief Justice under statute. The ceremonial dress and the court dress for Senior Counsel are the same as that for Queen’s Counsel before 1997.

The gown made of silk distinguishes the Queen’s or Senior Counsel from the junior barrister. Hence, he or she is popularly called “a silk” and appointment to this rank is referred to as “taking silk”.

The door plates of Mr Li’s chambers as junior barrister and as a Queen’s Counsel. (Large case)

終審法院首任首席法官( 1 9 9 7 - 2 0 1 0 )李國能先生














1997年前,御用大律師(簡稱 QC)是由香港總督以英女皇陛下的名義任命,並透過《英皇制誥》作出委任令狀。這裡展出的委任令狀(柱壁)為李先生於1988年獲任命為御用大律師的《英皇制誥》。1997年後,御用大律師改稱為資深大律師(簡稱 SC),並由終審法院首席法官根據法例任命。資深大律師出席法律界典禮時所穿戴的服飾和出庭服飾則沿襲御用大律師的服飾,維持不變。

御用大律師或資深大律師穿著的長袍有別於一般大律師,因長袍以絲綢製成,故此御用大律師或資深大律師又稱為「a silk」,而獲任命為御用大律師或資深大律師則稱為「taking silk」。



It is important for judges and advocates to wear a uniform in court. This is conducive to maintaining the dignity of the court and the judicial process.

The Honourable Andrew Li Kwok Nang,

Speech at the Opening of the display of Court Dress and the legal exhibition De Lege Lata, 13 March 2014

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