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The Honourable Dato Seri Paduka Sir
|Life Member of the Court of HKU|
18 December 2001
|Chief Justice of Hong Kong|
|Preceded by||Sir Denys Roberts|
|Succeeded by||Sir Noel Power (acting)|
|Unofficial Member of the|
|Chief Executive||Tung Chee-Hwa|
|Convenor|| Sir Sze-Yuen Chung |
|Born||30 June 1929|
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 Degree||Hon LLD (CUHK)|
Hon DLitt (HKU)
Hon LLD (PolyU)
Sir Ti-liang Yang, :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.GBM, (Chinese
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.
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.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.
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.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.
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.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.
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. In 2006, he was made honorary professor of Social Sciences at the Open University of Hong Kong.
Yang has translated Chinese classics into English, including:
He was knighted in 1988.He was appointed a Justice of Peace from 1 July 1998 to 2012. 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.
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Sir Albert Maria Rodrigues
| Chairman of the Council of the University of Hong Kong |
Dr Victor Fung
| Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong |
|Order of precedence|
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal
| Hong Kong order of precedence |
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal