Daily Archives: May 14, 2014

HK Government’s penchant for hiring overseas QCs

Stock photo: Hans Mahncke

Stock photo: Hans Mahncke

After 11 years, the Nancy Kissel saga is finally over. After conviction, appeal, another appeal, retrial and yet another appeal, the Court of Final Appeal has now given its reasons for dismissing her appeal against conviction at the retrial. This means that all avenues for appeal are now exhausted. I don’t want to comment on the reasoning as it seems¬†coherent and conclusive. What is probably of greater interest from a legal point of view, in particular with respect to the standards of legal representation available in Hong Kong, is that – yet again – the government flew in an overseas QC, David Perry, to argue its case. The DOJ must have hundreds of lawyers on the government’s payroll. Then there are another 800 or so barristers in Hong Kong who could have been hired to argue the case. Is it really too difficult for a Hong Kong lawyer to present straightforward arguments about the validity of jury instructions? Given the government’s penchant for expending vast amounts of taxpayer money on overseas lawyers, one would have to assume so.

The case is available here: http://legalref.judiciary.gov.hk/lrs/common/ju/ju_frame.jsp?DIS=92932&currpage=T