| Contact Us | Newsletter | Annual & Transparency Report. Under section 10A of the Matrimonial Causes Ordinance (Cap.179), all family and matrimonial proceedings commence in the District Court (and are assigned to the Family Court). Senior Chinese politicians, state media outlets as well as leading pro-Beijing figures and newspapers within Hong Kong have also lobbied for reforming the judiciary or criticised recent judgments and sentences they dislike. Last week, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam criticised "unjustified attacks" against judges and called on people to respect court decisions "regardless of his or her political stance". Secondly, the tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction to determine the question of obscenity or indecency when this issue arises in any civil or criminal proceedings in any court. If there’s any room for improvement, we will pursue it. Foreign judges serve temporary roles on the Court of Final Appeal so the city can maintain ties to common-law countries. But he rejected concerns that such pressure would impact the impartiality of judges. The Chief Magistrate, whose chamber is at the Kowloon City Law Courts Building, oversees the work of all magistracies. Australian territories impose travel ban on Sydney as COVID-19 cluster grows By section 10A(3) of the Matrimonial Causes Ordinance, the Family Court may exercise jurisdiction exceeding the District Court's monetary limits. Judges have found themselves in the firing line of Hong Kong’s polarised politics, including some who had private details leaked online, known as doxxing. “There are three articles in the Basic Law emphasising that Hong Kong has judicial independence, this is what we should remember the most,” he added, referencing the city’s mini-constitution. About 13 foreign judges currently serve as non-permanent judges on Hong Kong’s top court, including nine British jurists. Hong Kong judges on Friday ruled that prison staff had been wrong to cut the hair of activist Leung Kwok-hung, known as 'Long Hair' for his silver locks Hong Kong prison staff were wrong to cut off the locks of veteran dissident "Long Hair", the city's top court said Friday, in the second significant ruling against authorities this month. Semi-autonomous Hong Kong owes much of its business success to a transparent and internationally respected common law legal system that stands in stark contrast with the opaque, party-controlled courts in authoritarian China. The High Court was established by the High Court Ordinance (Chapter 4, formerly titled the Supreme Court Ordinance), as the "Supreme Court of Hong Kong". When the prominent Hong Kong lawyer Philip Dykes travels to international conferences, he says he often gets asked frustrating questions like this: Why Hong Kong’s top court is staffed with foreign judges - … The Family Court is a division of the District Court which is assigned by the Chief Justice to deal with Family cases. In an article, Mr Tam accused Hong Kong courts and judges of being out of touch and suggested that the system needed greater supervision and regulation. Under the Basic Law – Hong Kong’s mini-constitution – senior judges from common law jurisdictions are able to sit as non-permanent members of the city’s Court of Final Appeal. The main purpose of an inquest is to ascertain the cause of and the circumstances connected with the death. No statistics are provided by the Judiciary on actual waiting times from filing of a claim to first day of trial or ultimate resolution.. A Hong Kong magistrate accused of bias against anti-government protesters over his rulings has been cleared of wrongdoing following an investigation. It deals with claims arising out of a breach of a contract of employment. In the superior courts of record, namely the Court of Final Appeal and the High Court (which consists of the Court of Appeal and the Court of First Instance), judges are addressed as "my Lord" or "my Lady" and referred to as "your Lordship" or "your Ladyship", following the English tradition. HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s outgoing top judge said Tuesday that calls for reform of the city’s judiciary cannot be based on dissatisfaction with court rulings, as pro-Beijing figures and state-owned media step up criticism of the city’s legal system. There are approximately nine Adjudicators, including a Principal Adjudicator. Ma said he faced no direct interference by Beijing or Hong Kong’s government during his ten years as the city’s top judge. The courts in Hong Kong hear and adjudicate all prosecutions and civil disputes, including all public and private law matters. Hong Kong’s outgoing top judge made a plea on Tuesday to maintain judicial independence as China state media and a growing host of pro-Beijing figures call for an overhaul of how the financial hub’s courts are run. 515); and (iii) determinations by the Director of Housing under the Housing Ordinance (Cap. There is a panel of eight non-permanent Hong Kong judges and nine non-permanent judges from other common law jurisdictions. Views expressed by opinion writers and advertisers are not necessarily shared by HKFP. The magistrate are always referred to in court as "Sir" or "Madam" or "Your Worship". The scope of appointees covers all those who preside over the Court of Final Appeal, Court of Appeal, Court of First Instance, District Court, Family Court, Magistrates' Courts, Lands Tribunal, Labour Tribunal, Small Claims Tribunal, Coroners' Courts and Competition Tribunal. The Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal is head of the judiciary and assisted in his administrative duties by the Judiciary Administrator. Please reload the page and try again. We will not share your details with third parties. The Tribunal also has power to grant consequential relief. Our work is governed by a Code of Ethics and we publish an Annual Report and Transparency Report every year. A person who has practised for at least 5 years as a barrister, advocate, solicitor or judicial officer in Hong Kong or another common law jurisdiction is eligible to be appointed as the Registrar or a Master. The … Masters of the High Court are addressed as "Master". The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (HKCFA or CFA) is the final appellate court of Hong Kong. 116); (ii) determinations by the Director of Lands under the Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Ordinance (Cap. Parties may appoint counsel or solicitors to appear before the Tribunal or, as is often the case, they may appear in person. Amid Hong Kong’s politically fractured landscape, activists from both sides of the divide have slammed judges whose rulings they deemed favoured rivals, especially in protest-related cases. Although there is a general limit of two years imprisonment or a fine of $100,000, certain statutory provisions give Magistrates the power to sentence up to three years imprisonment and to impose a fine up to $5,000,000. Parties may authorise a representative (other than a lawyer) to appear in court. Permanent Judges. The Court is situated at West Kowloon Law Courts Building. Judges and judicial officers are appointed by the Chief Executive of the HKSAR after receiving secret advice and recommendations from the Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission. The Juvenile Court sits in the Eastern, Kowloon City, West Kowloon, Fanling and Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Courts. In exercising its jurisdiction, the Tribunal has the same powers to grant remedies and relief, legal or equitable, as the Court of First Instance of the High Court. When trials are conducted in Chinese, judges were addressed, in Cantonese, as Faat Gwoon Dai Yan (法官大人, "Judge, your Lordship") before the transfer of sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China, and as Faat Gwoon Gok Ha (法官閣下, "Judge, your Honour") since 1997. Any party aggrieved by the decision of an Adjudicator may appeal on a point of law to the Court of First Instance. Hong Kong’s independent judiciary is a key to its success as a global financial hub, and its constitution, known as the Basic Law, states that judges may come from other common law jurisdictions. Claimants can also seek orders for reinstatement or re-engagement; for awards of compensation or terminal payments. 545). The Chief District Judge may be referred to in writing by adding the post-nominal "CDJ" and the Principal Family Court Judge by adding the post-nominal "PFCJ". A bilingual court system in which Chinese, English or both can be used was put in place, in accordance with the requirement of the Basic Law. A person who has practised for at least 10 years as a barrister, advocate, solicitor or judicial officer in Hong Kong or another common law jurisdiction is eligible to be appointed as a High Court Judge or Recorder. The tribunal is located at the South Kowloon Law Courts Building in Gascoigne Road. 344) and deeds of mutual covenant, the appointment or dissolution of management committees, requisitions for owners' meetings and appointment of building management agent. District Judges are always referred to directly in court as "Your Honour", and indirectly (orally or in writing) as "His/Her Honour Judge ...". It hears appeals on civil and criminal matters from the Court of First Instance and the District Court, as well as appeals from the Lands Tribunal. The Tribunal also has unlimited jurisdiction to determine the amount of compensation payable by the Government to a person whose land has been compulsorily resumed or has suffered a reduction in value because of public developments. The tribunal has a President who is a Judge of the Court of First Instance. It was renamed the "High Court" by Article 81 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong. Decisions are made with a maximum of two dissenters on any vote. Hong Kong judges wear British-style outfits, including wigs made of horsehair, with white gloves, girdles and scarlet-coloured robes added for official ceremonies.. With effect from 3 December 2018, it has civil jurisdiction to hear monetary claims up to $3 million; or where the claims are for the recovery of land, of which the annual rent or rateable value does not exceed $320,000. In its criminal jurisdiction, the court may try the more serious cases, with the main exceptions of murder, manslaughter and rape. Whoops! Under the Basic Law of Hong Kong, it exercises the judicial power of the Region and is independent of the executive and legislative branches of the Government. File photo: GovHK. A Family judge may transfer a case to the High Court if it involves high monetary value claims and/or highly complex matters of fact or law. 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