In 2009, under the auspices of Chief Justice Li, a pilot scheme for the appointment of Judicial Assistants for Appellate Judges was launched. The scheme has matured over the years and is now well established.
The objectives of the Judicial Assistants (JDAs) Scheme are:
JDAs are generally employed on a contract basis for a period of about a year from the beginning of September each year to the end of August in the following year. Occasionally, short extensions are arranged for some JDAs to assist with the handover process to the next group of JDAs.
The primary duties of the JDAs are: to read into cases coming before the Court and conduct legal research as directed by the Judges; to analyse and prepare bench memoranda on appeals and leave applications; to prepare bilingual summaries of facts and press summaries of judgments for the benefit of the public; to assist with preparation for the Judges’ external speaking engagements and participation in legal conferences; to assist with other work of the Court and of the Judiciary generally, including the preparation of specimen directions, case bulletins and publications relating to judicial education, as well as the maintenance of the Court’s website.
Please click on the video below to learn more about the role of a JDA.
Applicants should possess a Law Degree with Second Class Honours in the upper division or above, or the equivalent, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (“PCLL”). Applicants who will have obtained a PCLL by the summer of the year of application may also apply: if selected, they will be appointed subject to their production of documentary proof of obtaining the PCLL. Applicants should also be about to embark on pupillage or traineeship, or be in the course of or have completed the same, but generally should not have more than two years' post-qualification experience. Proficiency in Chinese would be a clear asset. Applicants must be permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The application period normally starts in March and ends in April each year. Application forms are available during the application period. For information on how to apply to become a JDA, click here.
Applicants will be screened and shortlisted for assessment, which consists of a written exercise and an interview with the Judges of the Court of Final Appeal. Successful applicants will be notified of the result in due course after the assessment. Those who have accepted the appointment will be invited to attend an induction briefing held in August.