Speech at the Opening of the display of Court Dress

and the legal exhibition De Lege Lata

13 March 2014

2014年開幕演辭

About the Opening Ceremony

The unveiling of the court dress display was officiated by the Hon Mr Andrew Li on 13 March 2014,

together with the opening of the Faculty of Law's permanent exhibition De Lege Lata

on Hong Kong legal system and legal profession.

I wish to thank all of you sincerely for taking time to attend this Ceremony.

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.

I believe that the uniform serves an equally important purpose.  Putting it on should remind the judge and the advocate of their important professional duties: 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 when they are engaged in the trial of cases, they themselves are on trial in the court of professional and public opinion.

I had worn my judicial and professional uniform day in and day out for 37 years: 13 years on the bench and 24 years at the Bar.  I have the deepest sentiment for them.  The greater my sentiment, the stronger my wish to find a permanent home for them.

I had offered them to the Judiciary. But understandably, the plans for the Court of Final Appeal at the old Supreme Court Building do not include space for such displays.

I am delighted that this Law School has accepted my donation.  This Law School is our oldest and leading Law School.  It is fitting that my professional and judicial uniform should have their permanent home here.

 

The rule of law with an independent Judiciary is of pivotal importance to Hong Kong under one country two systems.  It is only under the rule of law that the freedoms, which are at the heart of our separate system, can be safeguarded.  Our cherished freedoms include of course the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press.  Vigilance must be exercised at all times by all of us to ensure that any attempt to undermine our freedoms is overcome and that our freedoms are fully protected.

 

Lawyers play and will continue to play a vital role in maintaining the rule of law in our community.  And lawyers are what Law Schools make them.  Successive generations of lawyers being educated here will have the vital responsibility of ensuring that the rule of law continues to thrive in the coming years and indeed beyond 2047.  I wish them every success in this great mission.

 

Finally, Dean, this is probably one of the last functions you will attend as Dean before you step down at the end of June.  I understand that as the search for your successor was prolonged, your departure has been long delayed.

 

Your tenure as Dean over the last 12 years has been a most distinguished one.  Under your leadership, the Law School has a new building with state of the art facilities, talented Faculty staff, top quality students, a vibrant intellectual environment in which academic freedom is vigorously exercised and a high international ranking. I must take this opportunity of congratulating you and everyone in the Law School for all that has been achieved under your leadership.  I am sure that you will continue to make an important contribution to the Law School and the University.  And I wish you all the best for the future.

 

To face the challenges of the future, no institution can afford to stand still.  I am sure that the Law School will go from strength to strength.  I wish the Law School every success in its most important endeavours.  Thank you.

首先,讓我感謝各位抽空出席今天的儀式。

 

法官和律師在法庭上需穿戴指定的服飾,這些服飾有助確立法院及司法程序的尊嚴。

 

這些服飾,同時提醒法官和律師應謹記他們的專業和責任:法官要公正、無畏、無私地處理巿民之間、巿民和政府之間的紛爭;而律師則需盡己所能,無畏無懼地為當事人據理力爭,並同時兼顧律師對法院的責任。法官和律師需時刻銘記,參與審訊時,他們本身亦為法律專業及公眾所審視。

 

過去三十七年,我日復一日地穿著這些法庭服飾工作,渡過十三年法官、二十四年大律師的生涯。我對這些服飾有深厚的感情,正因如此,我希望為它們找一個長居之所。

 

由於終審法院的搬遷計劃,並沒有包括任何展覽空間,故司法機構未能接受這些服飾。

 

我很高興香港大學法律學院能接受這份禮物,這所歷史悠久而優秀的學院,正是收藏和展示我這三套法庭服飾的理想地方。

 

在一國兩制下,司法獨立和法治對香港至為重要,而只有在法治得到彰顯時,我們這套制度所珍惜的自由,包括言論及新聞自由這些核心價值,方能得到保障。無論何時,所有人都應警惕,維護我們的核心價值,當我們的自由受到威脅時,更要挺身而出,竭力保障我們的自由,免受侵蝕。

 

律師在維護法治方面扮演舉足輕重的角色。十年樹木,百年樹人,律師正是由法律學院所培育,一代又一代在這裡受教育和成長的律師,將會肩負秉持法治的重任,遠及2047年以後,我對他們寄予厚望和支持。

 

最後,今天的儀式,可能是院長你在六月卸任前最後的公開活動之一,我知道由於選聘繼任人的時間較預期長,你卸任的日子一再往後延長。

 

在過去十二年,你為學院建樹良多:配備良好設施的新大樓、優良的師資、出色的學生、自由活潑的學術風氣和環境,國際排名更是節節上升。除了恭賀你和學院各人在你領導下的成就,我亦深信你日後會繼續為學院和大學作出貢獻,在此我謹祝你萬事如意。

 

面對將來的挑戰,沒有機構能持久不變,我深學院會繼續自強不息,再攀高峰,在此我祝福學院百尺竿頭,更進一步,多謝各位。

This exhibition is on display in the Lui Che Woo Law Library and is open to members of the University during the Library's opening hours.
Viewing by the public is welcome by appointment.
Lui Che Woo Law Library
1/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower
The University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong
Tel       (852) 3917-2914
Fax      (852) 2548-0143
Email   lawlib@hku.hk

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