Happy New Year to all our readers! The first issue of Hong Kong Lawyer in 2018 has a number of interesting and topical articles. The solicitor’s hourly rates for party and party taxation in civil proceedings which were last reviewed in 1997 have been revised by the Judiciary. The President’s Message shares the adverse impact the obsolete rates had on the interests of successful litigants, access to justice and the status of Hong Kong as an international dispute resolution centre. The Law Society’s efforts involved in urging the Judiciary to update the obsolete rates are also revealed.
The land law feature “Time for Revamping the Building Management Ordinance (Cap. 344)” compares the Ordinance to similar legislation in other countries and reveals how the Ordinance can be improved. Such examination is important given that the Ordinance has not undergone substantial amendments since 1993 and half of the population in Hong Kong is living in private or subsidized housing where building management can be an issue.
The constitutional law feature “Why do Officials Swear (an Oath)?” digs into the history of official oaths so as to understand why the Basic Law requires that certain officials (the Chief Executive, Senior Officials, Judges and Members of the Executive and Legislative Councils) should, upon assuming office, take an oath to uphold the Basic Law and swear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.
Also noteworthy is The Practice Skills section “Knowing what you do not know” which discusses the importance of business knowledge for lawyers as knowledge of the law alone is not enough to win clients or new work and provides a practical example.
Ending with a punch, the Leisure section features an interview with Jonathan Crompton who shares his experience with boxing.