A defendant who passes both the merits and the
means tests must pay a handling charge of $460
before the Scheme takes up the case. This is the only charge a defendant
has to pay, no matter how long the case last.
The handling charge of $460 has to be paid into the account of the
Duty Lawyer Service in Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited.
The payment of the handling charge must be paid in cash through any Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited and the receipt
issued must be handed to the Court
The Administrator of the Duty Lawyer Service has the discretion to
waive the handling charge in cases of genuine hardship. Defendants
receiving public assistance are automatically exempted from payment
of the handling charge.
After payment of the handling charge, an
appointment will be arranged for the defendant to give instructions.
The defendant must attend the Court Liaison Office on the date of
appointment to give instructions to the Service's Court Liaison Officers
to prepare for the defence or mitigation of his/her case.
No representation will or can be arranged if there is a lack of instructions
i.e. failing to give instructions or the failure to give full and
truthful instructions to the Court
Liaison Office. The handling charge paid will not be refunded.
Duty Lawyer Service employs lawyers in private practice to conduct
trials and other court work. Case papers are sent to the assigned
duty lawyer well in advance of the trial.
The Duty Lawyer will discuss and confirm the defendant's instructions
with him/her before appearing in court. If considered necessary, the
Duty Lawyer would request to have a conference with the defendant
prior to the trial day.
Defendants should attend the Court
Liaison Office at 9 a.m. sharp on the day of trial.