After reading certain recent press articles, one would be forgiven for wondering if one had schizophrenia. In a recent article, conservative columnist Christine Wat Wing-yin (屈穎妍) accused the legal aid system of working to enrich senior counsel Philip Dykes and other barristers. Around the same time, another article referred to the dramatic decline in income of foreign counsel after the handover – with one of the interviewees being Dykes. So which is it: has Dykes been fattened up or has he had to tighten his belt?
Kwok Cheuk-kin, also known as “king of judicial review”, has been barred from applying for legal aid over the next three years. Chris Ng of the Progressive Lawyers Group told HKFP that the power to impose a blanket ban is discretionary and “the key question is whether the person’s conduct has amounted to an abuse of the facilities provided by the [Legal Aid] Ordinance.” He said it is debatable whether Kwok had abused the legal aid system. “The Director’s order is amenable to judicial review so Kwok may elect to challenge it.”