Legal Advice Scheme for Unrepresented Litigants on Civil Procedures (Procedural Advice Scheme)
The Procedural Advice Scheme
- provides free legal advice on civil procedural matters for unrepresented litigants who commence or are parties to legal proceedings in the Lands Tribunal, the District Court, the Family Court, the Court of First Instance or the Court of Appeal of the High Court or the Court of Final Appeal (including commencement of proceedings); but not including civil proceedings in other tribunals;
- will not provide advice on merits of cases or act as legal representative;
- operates on a “first-come-first-served” basis.
Service is available for unrepresented litigants who -
- have not been granted legal aid and have not engaged lawyers; and
- satisfy the Procedural Advice Scheme's income eligibility limit* of not exceeding a monthly income of $50,000 or an annual income of $600,000.
* The income of an applicant's spouse, where applicable, will be counted towards the limit, unless the spouse is the opposite party of the proceedings or the applicant and the spouse are living separate and apart.
The Procedural Advice Scheme's application form can be downloaded here.
Examples of advice given include –
- explaining court rules and procedures, court documents, orders, trial procedures;
- how to commence a court action;
- how to make the various interlocutory applications;
- how to prepare court documents;
- how to prepare for a hearing;
- explaining the costs involved in proceedings and the taxation of costs;
- how to enforce a judgment or an order; and
- explaining the procedures for launching an appeal.
Examples of areas not covered by the Procedural Advice Scheme: –
- legal aid application and legal aid appeal;
- applications for letters of administration and the grant of probate;
- petition/discharge of self-bankruptcy order;
- cases involving Mainland or foreign law;
- seeking advice for limited companies, societies, associations;
- commencement of appeal or enforcement of tribunal awards (Lands Tribunal excepted);
- drafting legal documents;
- applicants repeatedly seeking advice concerning the same issues or subject matters without additional information;
- matters with no legal procedural issues involved;
- the matters have been solved or superseded by event;
- complicated legal issues which require detailed research and studying of documents; and
- applicants who, in the opinion of the Scheme, have the means to pay for legal advice.
Advice Sessions (Quick Advice Sessions and Appointment Advice Sessions)
Advice sessions are attended by Resident Lawyers of the Scheme or Community Lawyers (i.e. volunteer lawyers).
Depending on the procedural advice sought, the Procedural Advice Scheme will arrange a Quick Advice Session (QAS) of not more than 15 minutes or an Appointment Advice Session (AAS) of not more than 45 minutes for the applicants.
Maximum Number of Advice Sessions
Applicants may attend a maximum of five advice sessions (including QAS and AAS) every three months for each court action.
To assess eligibility of the applicants, applicants are required to complete an application form or re-application form each time they seek legal advice. The re-application form can be downloaded here.
Lawyers who have at least two years’ post-qualification experience and holding a current practicing certificate are eligible to enrol as Community Lawyers (CLs) of the Procedural Advice Scheme in their personal capacity on a pro bono basis.
Law firms can also participate in the Procedural Advice Scheme and assign eligible lawyers to enrol as CLs.
CLs can participate in two-hour or four-hour session(s) while also indicating their preference to participate in the QASs and/or the AASs. CLs will be invited to attend the advice sessions on a need basis.
CLs will conduct the advice sessions at the Procedural Advice Scheme Office.
CLs will be required to complete a brief advice session report for each advice session attended.
Services provided by CLs under the Procedural Advice Scheme will be covered by professional indemnity insurance.
The enrolment form for individual lawyers can be downloaded here. The enrolment form for participating law firms can be downloaded here. The enrolment is a continuous exercise and registration is welcome any time of the year.
As a token of appreciation, the Procedural Advice Scheme will offer an honorarium of $500 per two-hour session and $1,000 per four-hour session to CLs.
The Procedural Advice Scheme Office
The contact information of the Procedural Advice Scheme’s Office are as follows –
Room LG217, LG2/F, High Court Building
38 Queensway, Hong Kong.
8:45 am to 1:00 pm
2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Mondays to Fridays (except public holidays)
Cut-off time for accepting applications for each half day is at 12:30 pm and 5:30 pm respectively.
Enquires: 2259 5017
Terms and Conditions of the Procedural Advice Scheme (Click here)
* The terms and conditions of the Procedural Advice Scheme are subject to change without prior notice.
Membership list of the Advisory Committee on Legal Advice for Unrepresented Litigants
Mr PANG Kin-kee, SBS
Ms Maggie CHAN Man-ki, MH, JP
Prof. Anne CHEUNG Shann-yue
Mr Stephen HUNG Wan-shun
Mr Giles SURMAN
Mr WAN Wai-ming
Miss Catherine YEN Kai-shun
Ms Amarantha YIP Yun-wan
Mr Andy HO Chi-yin
(Senior Deputy Registrar of the High Court)
Mr Patrick LI Pak-chuen, JP
(Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs (1))
Mr Chris CHONG Yan-tung, JP
(Deputy Director of Legal Aid (Policy & Administration))
Mr Gabriel PAK Chun-yin
(Assistant Secretary for Home Affairs (Civic Affairs) (2)1)
Terms of Reference of the Advisory Committee on Legal Advice for Unrepresented Litigants
To advise the Government on –
- the policies and programmes of the Procedural Advice Scheme;
- the provision of work and services under the Procedural Advice Scheme; and
- the evaluation of effectiveness of the Procedural Advice Scheme.
|First meeting of the Advisory Committee on Legal Advice for Unrepresented Litigants
||15 June 2016 (Wednesday)
|Second meeting of the Advisory Committee on Legal Advice for Unrepresented Litigants
||15 December 2016 (Thursday)