Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced the appointment of Teresa Cheng Yuek-wah as Secretary for Justice of the Hong Kong SAR government Friday.
Cheng replaces Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, who is leaving the post.
Cheng, 59, a veteran law practitioner, is a prominent legal figure involved in arbitration and constitutional matters. She is the honorary chairperson of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre.
The State Council approved the recommendation of Lam to appoint Cheng as the Secretary for Justice. Cheng will commence her duties as Secretary for Justice on Saturday, Xinhua reported Friday.
Lam thanked Yuen for his service over the past five-and-a-half years in the justice portfolio, adding she has full confidence Cheng can carry on the work.
In a press release issued by the Hong Kong SAR government Friday, Lam said Yuen has been a pillar of strength in upholding the rule of law in Hong Kong. His commitment to the country and the Hong Kong SAR is in full display and he is passionate about his work.
"He has also spared no effort in promoting Hong Kong as a regional center for legal services and dispute resolution. With his distinguished leadership and strong team spirit, he commands the respect and admiration of all the Secretaries of Department and Directors of Bureau, as well as civil servants. On behalf of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, I convey my deep appreciation to Yuen for his contribution to the HKSAR," Lam said.
According to the press release, the incoming secretary was, before joining the government, a senior counsel in private practice. She is also a chartered engineer, chartered arbitrator and accredited mediator. She has been frequently engaged as arbitrator or counsel in complex international commercial or investment disputes.
Cheng was one of the founders and chairman of the Asian Academy of International Law. She is a former vice-president of the International Council of Commercial Arbitration, former vice-president of the ICC International Court of Arbitration and Past Chairperson of Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre. In 2008, she became the first Asian woman elected as President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. She served as deputy judge and recorder in the Court of First Instance of the High Court of Hong Kong from 2011 to 2017. She is a member of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes Panel of Arbitrators, and was a member of the World Bank's Sanctions Board.
Cheng is a fellow of King's College in London, and was director of the International Arbitration and Dispute Settlement course at the Law School of Tsinghua University in Beijing.
On the appointment of Cheng, the press release quoted Lam as saying, "Cheng is a seasoned senior counsel in private practice, with rich experience in international arbitration and mediation... I have every confidence that she will make a very competent Secretary for Justice."