Yang Ti-liang

Last updated

The Honourable Dato Seri Paduka Sir

Ti-liang Yang

GBM
Life Member of the Court of HKU
Assumed office
18 December 2001
Servingwith Sir Yuet-Keung Kan, Dr. Rayson Huang and Dr. Victor Fung
Chief Justice of Hong Kong
In office
1988–1996
Preceded by Sir Denys Roberts
Succeeded bySir Noel Power (acting)
Unofficial Member of the
Executive Council
In office
1997–2002
Chief Executive Tung Chee-Hwa
Convenor Sir Sze-Yuen Chung
Leung Chun-ying
Personal details
Born (1929-06-30) 30 June 1929 (age 90)
Shanghai, Republic of China
Spouse(s) Tam Oi-lin (aka Eileen Barbara Tam; died 24 June 2006); two sons
Alma mater Soochow University (Suzhou) Law School
LLB (University College, London)
Honorary DegreeHon LLD (CUHK)
Hon DLitt (HKU)
Hon LLD (PolyU)

Sir Ti-liang Yang, [1] GBM, (Chinese :楊鐵樑爵士; born 30 June 1929) is a retired senior Hong Kong judge. He was the Chief Justice of Hong Kong from 1988–1996, the only ethnic Chinese person to hold this office during British colonial rule.

Contents

He was a candidate in the 1996 Hong Kong Chief Executive election, where he lost to his opponent Tung Chee-Hwa. After the transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong, he was appointed a non-official member of the Executive Council by Tung and retired in 2002. In retirement, he mainly focuses on writing and teaching English. In September 2003, he became the host of a RTHK radio programme, Yang Ti-liang Mail Box (楊鐵樑留言信箱), teaching English grammar.

Early life

Yang was born in Shanghai on 30 June 1929. He attended St. John's Middle School (same foundation as St. John's University) in his early years and read law in the Comparative Law School of China in Soochow University (Suzhou) from 1946–49. Due to the Chinese Civil War, he moved very briefly to Hong Kong before graduating, where he stayed at St. John's Hall in 1949. [2] Then he moved to England to read law at University College London, where he graduated with an LLB with honours in 1953. In 1954, he was called to the bar with honours at Gray's Inn. After studying in England, Yang returned to Hong Kong in 1955.

Judicial career

In June 1956, Yang was offered a post as magistrate, which he accepted, and, in 1963, he was promoted to senior magistrate. Yang was acting District Judge from 1964 to 1968. During that period, he was chairman of the Kowloon Disturbances Claims Assessment Board and following the 1967 Leftist Riots, he also presided over the Compensation Board. In 1968, he was appointed District Judge of the Victoria District Court and was made a member of the Chinese Language Committee and president of the Legal Sub-Committee in 1970. Yang was, for a brief period in 1971, acting Puisne Judge.

In 1972, he was appointed Commissioner of Inquiry into the Rainstorm Disasters. On 17 February 1975, he presided over the watershed corruption trial of Peter Fitzroy Godber, a former Kowloon Deputy District Commissioner of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force. Yang sentenced him to four years' imprisonment after a six-day trial. That same year, Yang was promoted to Judge of the High Court of Justice of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong. In 1976, he chaired the Commission of Inquiry into the Leung Wing-sang case in which a station sergeant, Lau Cheong-wah, allegedly induced Leung with HK$10,000 to confess to wounding another person. In 1980, Yang was chairman of the Commission of Inquiry into the apparent suicide of Inspector John MacLennan.

Yang was appointed a Justice of Appeal in 1981 and, six year later, Vice-President. In March 1988, Yang was appointed Chief Justice of Hong Kong (the then chief judge of the Court of Appeal) following recommendation of the Governor Sir David Wilson. This was the first time an ethnic Chinese had held this office. Prior to the appointment, he also received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in the New Year Honours List. [3] According to customary practice, Chief Justices of Hong Kong would also become Chief Justice of Brunei Darussalam. Yang's predecessor, however, Sir Denys Tudor Emil Roberts, continued to serve as Chief Justice of Brunei Darussalam after his retirement. Sir TL was instead appointed as president of the Court of Appeal of Brunei on 24 May 1988.

Chief Executive election

In 1996, Yang tendered his resignation to then governor Chris Patten in order to clear the way for his candidacy in the first ever Chief Executive election. In addition, he renounced his British citizenship and wrote a letter to Queen Elizabeth II to give up his knighthood. [4] Before the election, he organised a series of campaigns, including visiting public housing estates, and travelled on the Mass Transit Railway subway system for the first time in his life. On 11 December 1996, the small-circle Election Committee selected Tung Chee Hwa, a shipping magnate, over Yang to be Chief Executive. The vote was 320 to 42.

Yang was appointed a Non-Official Member of the Executive Council by Tung soon after the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. During his tenure in the Council, he was chairman of the Exchange Fund Investment Ltd from 1998 to 2002 and was responsible to the management of the Tracker Fund of Hong Kong. From 1999 to 2004, he was also chairman of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Complaints Committee.

Public service

From 1981 to 1984, Yang was chairman of the University and Polytechnic Grants Committee. From 1985 to 2001, he was chairman of the University of Hong Kong Council. He was also Pro-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong from 1994 to 2001. In 2000, during his Pro-Chancellorship, he was designated by the university to investigate the Public Opinion Programme Disputes.

In 1988, he was elected an Honorary Bencher of Gray's Inn. He served as President of the Bentham Club at University College London in 1991. From 1998 to 2012, he was chairman of the Hong Kong Red Cross; in June 2012, he assumed the honorary position of President.

After retiring from the Executive Council in 2002, Yang spent much of his time teaching English grammar and etiquette. In September 2003, he hosted a Radio Television Hong Kong radio programme, Yang Ti-liang Mail Box (楊鐵樑留言信箱), teaching English grammar and answering questions on his website. He has been honorary professor of Chinese at the University of Hong Kong since 1998. In 2005, he was appointed honorary professor and chairman of the Executive Committee of the School of Law by the Chinese University of Hong Kong. [5] In 2006, he was made honorary professor of Social Sciences at the Open University of Hong Kong.

Translated works

Yang has translated Chinese classics into English, including:

Honours

He was knighted in 1988. [6] He was appointed a Justice of Peace from 1 July 1998 to 2012. [7] [8] He was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal by the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 1999 to acknowledge his contribution to justice and higher education in Hong Kong.

Honorary degrees

Fellows

See also

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References

  1. Yang Ti-liang never took an English name for himself, believing it to be unnecessary. He once stated that Sun Yat-sen likewise had no English name and he was "as famous as Sun". (得失之間 楊鐵樑, 壹週刊時事專訪, 7 August 2003)
  2. St. John's Hall: History and Register (1952), p. 25.
  3. "No. 51171". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1987. p. 2.
  4. Although he could have returned his insignia and ceased to use the title by doing so, officially he was still recorded as being a knight. Honours are only removed via forfeiture procedures. Therefore, from the law's perspective, he never actually renounced his knighthood.
  5. Yang and Dr Anthony Neoh SC at the helm of the CUHK Law School , CUHK, 30 March 2005
  6. "No. 51558". The London Gazette . 13 December 1988. p. 13986.
  7. "Persons appointed under Section 3(1)(b) of the Justices of the Peace Ordinance (Cap. 510)". 7 June 2012. Archived from the original on 9 June 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  8. "Persons appointed under Section 3(1)(b) of the Justices of the Peace Ordinance (Cap. 510)". 24 December 2012. Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

Additional sources

English materials

  • Former Chief Justice warns not to let language deteriorate, Pensioners' Corner, Civil Service Newsletter Editorial Board, retrieved on 1 September
  • The Hon. Sir Ti Liang Yang, GBM, JP Curriculum Vitae, Hong Kong Red Cross, 2005
  • Information Paper for the Joint Meeting of the Panel on Security and Panel on Health Services to be held on 29 April 2003, Hong Kong Legislative Council, retrieved on 1 September 2007
  • HISTORY, Supreme Court of Brunei Darussalam, retrieved on 1 September 2007
  • American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 116, No. 3 (Nov 2010) pp. 1046–1052 by Barbara Celarent

Chinese materials

  • 得失之間 楊鐵樑, 壹週刊時事專訪, 7 August 2003
  • 楊鐵樑簡介 , 楊鐵樑留言信箱, RTHK, retrieved on 1 September 2007
  • Taigu Jituan Zaijiu Zhongguo Shanghai Renmin Chuban She 1991
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Albert Maria Rodrigues
Chairman of the Council of the University of Hong Kong
1985–2001
Succeeded by
Dr Victor Fung
Legal offices
Preceded by
Denys Roberts
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong
1988–1996
Succeeded by
Noel Power
Acting
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Anson Chan
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal
Hong Kong order of precedence
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal
Succeeded by
William Purves
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal