Court of Final Appeal
is the highest appellate court in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It has jurisdiction in respect of matters conferred on it by the Hong Kong Court
of Final Appeal Ordinance, Cap. 484 and by any other law. It hears appeals on civil and criminal matters from the High Court (the Court of Appeal and the Court of First Instance).
The Court of Appeal hears
appeals on all civil and criminal matters from
the Court of First Instance and the District
Court. It also hears appeals from Lands Tribunal
and various Tribunals and Statutory Bodies.
The Court of First Instance
has unlimited jurisdiction in both civil and
criminal matters. It also hears appeals
Magistrates' Courts, the Small Claims Tribunal,
the Obscene Articles Tribunal, the Labour
and the Minor Employment Claims Adjudication
Board. For criminal trials, judges of the
of First Instance sit with a jury of seven
(nine on the special direction of the judge).
The District Court hears
civil disputes of a value over $50,000 but
not more than $1 million. Its criminal jurisdiction
is limited to 7 years' imprisonment.
The Family Court deals mainly
with divorce cases and related matters such
as maintenance and the welfare of children.
There are 7 Magistrates'
Courts. They exercise criminal jurisdiction
over a wide range of indictable and summary offences
meriting up to 2 years' imprisonment and a fine of
$100,000. However the court may impose sentences of
up to 3 years' imprisonment where there are two or
more indictable offences being dealt with at the same
time. Indeed under some Ordinances a single offence
may carry 3 years' imprisonment and a fine of $5 million.
The Lands Tribunal
has jurisdiction to determine applications by landlords for possession of premises under the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance, Cap. 7 or under the Common Law. The Tribunal also deals with cases arising from disputes in relation to building management. The Tribunal also hears applications for the determination of compensations caused by land resumption and payable by the Government because of public developments pursuant to the relevant ordinances, and determine appeals against the assessment of rateable value / government rent or market value of property under the Housing Ordinance. The Tribunal can determine applications made by majority owners of a land for the sale of the land for redevelopment purpose under the Land (Compulsory Sale for Redevelopment) Ordinance, Cap. 545.
The Labour Tribunal
deals with labour disputes. There is no upper limit
on the amount of claim, but the Tribunal only hears
cases which the amount of claim exceeds $8,000 for
at least one of the claimants in a claim or which
the number of claimants in the claim exceeds 10. Hearings
are informal and no legal representation is allowed.
The Small Claims Tribunal
hears civil claims within its jurisdiction of up to
$50,000. Hearings are informal and no representation
by lawyers is allowed.
The Obscene Articles Tribunal
determines and classifies whether or not an
article or other matter publicly displayed is
obscene or indecent.
The Coroner's Court
conducts investigations and if necessary holds inquests into the deaths.
The Juvenile Court hears charges against children or young persons under the age of 16, except where the charge is one of homicide. It may also make care or protection orders in respect of children or juveniles. It sits in the Eastern, Kowloon City, Tsuen Wan, Fanling and Tuen Mun Magistrates' Courts.