Justice Johnson Lam, a vice-president of the Court of Appeal, is set to become a permanent judge of the city’s top court – filling a position that has been vacant for the past four months.
Justice Lam’s appointment to the Court of Final Appeal is subject to Legislative Council approval, and comes after Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Wednesday accepted the recommendation put forward by the Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission.
The top court should have three permanent judges, but the elevation of Andrew Cheung to chief justice in January means only two of the three positions are currently filled.
“Mr Justice Lam is an all‑rounded appellate judge who possesses rich experience and expertise in handling civil cases of all types, including in particular public law and constitutional law cases,” the chief executive said.
She added that the 59-year-old's judgements are well-reasoned and balanced, and praised his “extensive experience in steering reforms to improve on the administration of justice.”
“He will be a great asset to the Court of Final Appeal,” she said.
The decision was also welcomed by the chief justice.
Justice Lam’s judicial career began in 2001, when he was appointed as a district judge, and he has served in his current role as vice-president of the Court of Appeal since September 2013.
The Court of Final Appeal comprises five judges – the chief justice, three permanent judges and a non-permanent Hong Kong or common law judge.