PRESS RELEASES | JUN 26, 2023
Honouring the memory of Dr. the Hon. Sir Ti Liang Yang
The University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law mourns the passing of Dr. the Hon. Sir Ti Liang Yang, GBM, former Chief Justice of Hong Kong and a longtime friend and patron of our law school. Justice Yang’s commitment to the Rule of Law and his ground breaking achievements have left an indelible mark on Hong Kong’s legal and judicial landscape. His unwavering support for our law school has won him the hearts of many of our alumni.
Born in Shanghai and educated at Soochow University Law School, Justice Yang continued his legal studies in the United Kingdom and was subsequently called to the Bar in England. He began his illustrious career in the Hong Kong judiciary as a magistrate in 1956, and served with distinction for four decades. In 1988, he made history as the first local Hong Kong Chinese Chief Justice, a position he held until 1996.
Throughout his judicial career, Justice Yang presided over the trials of many landmark cases in Hong Kong’s legal history, including the Godber case, and chaired important commissions of inquiry such as the MacLennan inquiry. Under Justice Yang’s leadership, the local and international standing of the Hong Kong judiciary rose significantly. He actively promoted the localisation of the Hong Kong judiciary and championed the increased use of the Chinese language in judicial proceedings.
Justice Yang’s contributions to the University of Hong Kong and our Faculty of Law were equally remarkable. He served as Council Chairman of HKU from 1985 to 2001, and as Pro-Chancellor of the University from 1994 to 2001. His close association with our law school saw him hold the position of Honorary Patron of our students’ Law Association for decades. Alumni from the 1970s and 1980s will fondly recall Justice and Mrs. Yang attending every Law Association annual ball and generously donating prized items for the raffle draws. Justice Yang also presided over moots at our law school and served as an honorary lecturer. His presence and guidance during Lord Denning’s visit to our law school in the 1970s further exemplify his dedication to our institution.
We are deeply saddened by the loss of Justice TL Yang, and convey our deepest condolences to his family and friends. Justice Yang was a true pioneer and inspiration in Hong Kong’s legal and judicial history. His legacy will continue to shape the future of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and his memory will be cherished by all who had the privilege of knowing him.
Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls (right), and Ti Liang Yang, then a High Court judge presided over a moot in the Department of Law, April 1977.
1994 marked the Silver Jubilee of the Faculty of Law. Justice Yang supported the Annual Ball of the Law Association (left) and presided the Law Congregation, handing personally to graduates a special certificate (right), as Chief Justice of Hong Kong and Pro-Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong.