Thursday December 14, 2017 22:45 pm 


Former Consultant Counsel,
Department of Justice, Hong Kong,

Former First Parliamentary Counsel, Fiji, etc.

~ Qualifications

King Edward VI Grammar School, Aston, Birmingham, 1954 – 1961.

Meyricke Exhibition in History for Law, Jesus College Oxford, 1962.

Honours degree (B.A.) in jurisprudence (law) 1965 .

Sankey Scholarship to read for the Bar.

Called to the Bar by the Inner Temple, London, July 1966

Pupillage with Colin Coode, Birmingham, 1966 -1967

~ Professional experience

Birmingham, England, 1966 – 1976
Practised as a common law barrister from St. Ives Chambers on the Oxford and Midland Circuit.

Solomon Islands, 1976 - 1977
Senior Crown Counsel on an OSAS contract with the ODA. Dealt with criminal and civil matters for the
Government of the Protectorate.
Edited the Gazette and drafted subsidiary legislation under supervision of the Attorney General.

Tuvalu, 1977 - 1979
Attorney General, appointed by the Secretary of State on OSAS terms. Responsible for all
legislative drafting, for prosecutions in the High Court and for advice to the Executive Council,
Legislative Assembly and Commissioner.
Supervised the legal aspects of the transition of Tuvalu to independence (October 1978),
including attendance at the Constitutional Conference in Marlborough House in London.
Subsequently visited all the Tuvalu islands to explain the Constitution to the local councils.
After independence remained ex officio member of the Cabinet and Parliament. Advised on Tuvalu's
treaty relationships, status in the UN etc. Also drafted the implementing legislation dealing with
citizenship, immigration, passports, elections etc.
Liaised with Law Revision Commissioner in the U.K.on the production of the Revised
Laws of Tuvalu, 1978.

Montserrat. 1979 - 1983
Attorney General, appointed by the Secretary of State on OSAS terms. Responsible for all civil litigation
involving the Government, for prosecutions in the High Court and for advice to the Executive
Council, Legislative Council and Governor. (Ex officio member of Exco and Legco.)
Represented Montserrat at several regional and international conferences. Advised on the implementation
of the existing constitution, public service matters, offshore banking etc.
Responsible for drafting of all primary and subsidiary legislation and with UK legal officer in Antigua on the Revised Edition of the Laws of Montserrat.

Hong Kong, 1983 - 1996
Senior Crown Counsel in the Law Drafting Division of the Attorney Generals Chambers. From 1985,
Deputy Principal Crown Counsel (Senior Assistant Law Draftsman).
The Hong Kong law drafting office has drafters from several countries of the Commonwealth and is
one of the largest in the world with 40 drafters and over 100 support staff.
In addition to my drafting duties, I set up a unit to research Hong Kong’s international status, which
became the International Law Division. In preparation for the resumption of Chinese sovereignty
in 1997, I supervised the 'localisation' of British laws applying to Hong Kong and the adaptation
of the Hong Kong statute book to comply with the Basic Law. I also I advised on the legislative
changes needed to implement the Basic Law.

Tuvalu, 1996 - 1997
Constitutional Advisor, as a technical expert for the Commonwealth Secretariat (CFTC), to advise on
Tuvalu's options for becoming a republic. In the event, there was a change of government and the
decision was made to remain a monarchy, so I spent the year doing general drafting work,
including a Bill to reorganize local government.
While still working in Tuvalu I wrote a report for the Commonwealth Secretariat on the new
Fiji Constitution which was being drafted. The report was written at the request of the
British and Fiji governments. On the basis of my report, Fiji was re-admitted to the
Commonwealth, having been suspended since the coups in 1987.

Fiji Islands, 1998 - 2000
First Parliamentary Counsel (i.e. chief legislative drafter.) This was a post funded by the CFTC.
In that capacity drafted or vetted more than 100 statutes and 300 items of subsidiary legislation. Many
were concerned with electoral matters and the implementation of the new Constitution (which
was adopted in July 1997.) Others dealt with environmental matters, and with public sector
reform, pursuant to the Public Enterprise Act.
After the elections of May 1999 produced a new government, I advised the new Cabinet on legislative
procedures and on legislation generally. I also advised the Speaker and the Clerk to Parliament on procedural matters, and conducted seminars for civil servants on constitutional matters and on public service matters generally.
I tutored a distance learning course in law drafting for the University of the South Pacific, and supervised the work of 3 other drafters.

Grenada, June 2000 – April 2002
Legislative Draftsman, on direct contract with the Grenada Government.
Responsible for drafting of all primary and subsidiary legislation and for preparation of Cabinet papers
in connection with legislation.
Drafted documents for the setting up of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and a
Constitutional Review Commission.
Advised the Governor-General on aspects of the Constitution and advised the Speaker on aspects of
parliamentary procedure. Also advised the Chairman of the Public Service Commission and
Secretary to Cabinet on a review of public service legislation.
Performed many of the functions of the Solicitor General, including litigation, while that office was
vacant for over a year.

Hong Kong, August 2002 to August 2004
Consultant Counsel with the Law Drafting Division of the Department of Justice.
(This was a 2-year contract on local terms at the rank of Senior Government Counsel.)
Responsible for drafting of some complex Bills and steering them through the Bills Committee
of the Legislative Council.
Also responsible for 'mentoring' of 4 junior drafters and contributing to discussions on drafting issues
arising out of the implementation of the Basic Law.

~ Professional and other interests
Member of the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel

Member of the Statute Law Society (U.K.)

Member of ‘Justice’ (U.K.)

Member of the Incorporated Association of Organists (U.K.)

Member of the British Mountaineering Council.

John F. Wilson
Kettering, U.K.
December 2004



~ JFW Curriculum Vitae

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