1. Legal Aid
The Legal Aid Department provides legal representation for eligible applicants by providing you with a solicitor and, if necessary, a barrister, in civil or criminal proceedings.
Legal aid is available for cases involving personal injury or death, as well as medical, dental or legal professional negligence. Any person, whether or not ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, who is involved in the circumstances described above: i.e. a personal injury, may apply for legal aid. Legal aid will be granted if the applicant is able to satisfy the statutory criteria as to their financial eligibility and the merits for taking or defending the legal proceedings.
The purpose of the "means test" is to assess the financial resources of the applicant. Under the Ordinary Legal Aid Scheme, the upper financial eligibility limit is HK$420,400. Financial resources of an applicant are his or her monthly disposable income multiplied by 12 plus his or her disposable capital.
The main purpose of the "merits test" is to determine whether an applicant has a reasonable claim or defence and whether or not the grant of legal aid to an applicant is justified. Apart from considering the prospect of success, the Director may refuse legal aid in cases where he would be unable to enforce a judgment e.g. the opposite party is uninsured and has no valuable assets. The Director will also give due weight to the importance of the case to the applicant in deciding whether to grant legal aid.
For more details about legal aid, please click here.