Hong Kong Legal System
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6. How are the Judges being appointed or dismissed?

The Hong Kong courts are operated by the Hong Kong Judiciary which is independent of both the Executive and the Legislature of the HKSAR Government. The Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal is the head of the Judiciary, both in a judicial and an administrative sense. Under the Basic Law, judges are appointed by the Chief Executive of the HKSAR on the recommendation of the Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission. This is an independent statutory body, constituted under the Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission Ordinance (Cap. 92), which is composed of local judges, persons from the legal profession and reputable persons from other sections. All judges and magistrates must have been qualified as legal practitioners either in Hong Kong or in another common law jurisdiction and have had substantial professional experience.

The Basic Law stipulates that a judge may only be removed for inability to discharge his or her duties, or for misbehaviour, by the Chief Executive on the recommendation of a tribunal appointed by the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal. This tribunal consists of not fewer than three local judges. In the case of dismissal of the Chief Justice, the tribunal (appointed by the Chief Executive instead of the Chief Justice) must consist of not fewer than five local judges. In addition, before a judge of the Court of Final Appeal or the Chief Judge of the High Court may be removed from office, the Basic Law stipulates that the endorsement of the Legislative Council is required.
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