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Court Services & Facilities

Introduction pdf version

Hong Kong's courts and its judiciary

The Judiciary is responsible for the administration of justice in Hong Kong. It hears all prosecutions and civil disputes. It is completely independent of the executive authorities and legislature.

What is the structure of Hong Kong courts?

The 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 Competition Tribunal, 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 from Magistrates’ Courts, the Small Claims Tribunal, the Obscene Articles Tribunal, the Labour Tribunal and the Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board. For criminal trials, judges of the Court of First Instance sit with a jury of seven (nine on the special direction of the judge).

The Competition Tribunal is a superior court of record set up by the Competition Ordinance, Cap 619 to deal with legal proceedings concerning competition matters.

The District Court hears civil disputes of a value over $75,000 but not more than $3 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 $75,000. 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, West Kowloon, Fanling and Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Courts.

Court Registries and enquiries

Each court has its own registry which is responsible for filing documents, listing cases for hearing, and providing support to judges and judicial officers. The following are the addresses and enquiry telephone numbers of these registries:

Court of Final Appeal Registry

Address: 8 Jackson Road, Central, Hong Kong
Telephone: 2123 0123
Facsimile: 2121 0300

High Court Registry

Address: LG1 Floor, 38 Queensway, Hong Kong
Telephone: 2523 2212
Facsimile: 2524 9725

Clerk of Court’s Office

Address: G/F, High Court Building, 38 Queensway, Hong Kong
Telephone: 2825 4672
Facsimile: 2530 3512

Competition Tribunal Registry

Address: Room LG343, LG3, High Court Building, 38 Queensway, Hong Kong
Telephone: 2825 0426
Facsimile: 2487 5509

District Court Registry

Address: Wanchai Law Courts, 6/F, Wanchai Tower,
  12 Harbour Road, Hong Kong
Telephone: 2845 5696
Facsimile: 2824 1641

Family Court Registry

Address: Wanchai Law Courts, M2/F, Wanchai Tower,
  12 Harbour Road, Hong Kong
Telephone: 2840 1218
Facsimile: 2523 9170

Magistrates’ Courts
General Enquiry Telephone: 2677 8373

Eastern Magistrates’ Courts

Address: 4/F – 7/F, Eastern Law Courts Building,
  29 Tai On Street, Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong
Facsimile: 2886 5034

Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts

Address: 147M, Argyle Street, Kowloon
Facsimile: 2351 4708

Kwun Tong Magistrates’ Courts

Address: 10 Lei Yue Mun Road, Kowloon
Facsimile: 2347 4595

West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts

Address: 3/F-7/F, Tower A, West Kowloon Law Courts Building, 501 Tung Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Facsimile: 2413 8737

Fanling Magistrates’ Courts

Address: 1 Pik Fung Road, Fanling, New Territories
Facsimile: 2675 5245

Shatin Magistrates’ Courts

Address: 1 Yi Ching Lane, Shatin, New Territories
Facsimile: 2602 2872

Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Courts

Address: 1 Tuen Hi Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories
Facsimile: 2459 1292

Lands Tribunal

Address: 38 Gascoigne Road, Kowloon
Telephone: 2771 3034
Facsimile: 2384 4901 / 2384 4896

Labour Tribunal

Address: 36 Gascoigne Road, Kowloon
Telephone: 2625 0020
Facsimile: 2513 6797 / 2625 0556

Small Claims Tribunal

Address: 3/F, Tower B, West Kowloon Law Courts Building, 501 Tung Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Telephone: 2877 4068
Facsimile: 2587 9139

Coroner’s Court

Address: 9/F, Tower A, West Kowloon Law Courts Building, 501 Tung Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Telephone: 3916 6204
Facsimile: 2568 1735

Obscene Articles Tribunal

Address: 9/F, Tower A, West Kowloon Law Courts Building, 501 Tung Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Telephone: 3916 6303
Facsimile: 2568 1324

Probate Registry

Address: LG3, High Court Building, 38 Queensway, Hong Kong
Telephone: 2840 1683
Facsimile: 2524 7737

Court Supporting Services

Bailiff Section

After you have obtained a court judgment for payment of money to you, you can apply for its enforcement by Court Bailiffs if the judgment is not complied with. The Bailiff Offices are located as follows:

Bailiff Office (Admiralty and High Court)

Address: LG3, High Court Building, 38 Queensway, Hong Kong
Telephone: 2825 4300
Facsimile: 2530 3543

Bailiff Office (Wanchai Tower)

Address: 26/F, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Hong Kong
Telephone: 2582 3081
Facsimile: 2587 9806

Bailiff Office (Kwun Tong Law Courts Building)

Address: Room 207, 2/F, Kwun Tong Law Courts Building, 10 Lei Yue Mun Road, Kowloon
Telephone: 2772 9263
Facsimile: 2952 9043

Bailiff Office (West Kowloon Law Courts Building)

Address: 10/F, Tower B, West Kowloon Law Courts Building, 501 Tung Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Telephone: 3916 6501
Facsimile: 2492 5309

Bailiff Office (Shatin Law Courts Building)

Address: Room 224 -227, 2/F, Shatin Law Courts Building, 1 Yi Ching Lane, Shatin, New Territories
Telephone: 2694 2289
Facsimile: 2607 1430

Legal Reference and Library Section

The collection of the Judiciary Libraries is basically of common law materials housed mainly in the High Court Library, Court of Final Appeal Library and District Court Library. Some collections are located in the chambers, Magistrates’ Courts and Tribunals for judges and judicial officers. The Judiciary Libraries provide legal reference and information services, photocopying and other services to the judges and judicial officers, staff of the Judiciary, members of the legal profession and law students. Litigants preparing for a coming court hearing may also apply for temporary library admission for a period specified by the Judiciary.

Enquiries about application for the use of library facilities may be made to the High Court Library. Please visit the library website for more information about the library services.

Opening Hours

High Court Library

Mondays to Fridays 8:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

District Court Library

Mondays to Fridays 8:50 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Court of Final Appeal Library

Mondays to Fridays 8:50 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

All libraries close on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

Judiciary Library card holders may use the High Court Library and the District Court Library. They may use the Court of Final Appeal Library on the days when their cases are being heard in the Court of Final Appeal.

Enquiry telephone numbers

High Court Library: 2825 4464
District Court Library: 2582 4062
Court of Final Appeal Library: 2123 0044

Court Language Section

The Court Language Section in the main provides interpreting services for those who are not conversant with Chinese or English in all court proceedings in Hong Kong. The Section is also responsible for certifying the translation of documents for use in court proceedings in Hong Kong. For such certification service, it is provided free for criminal cases, but a prescribed fee is charged for civil cases. The Court Language Section is located on 26/F, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Hong Kong (Tel.: 2582 2904).

Press and Public Relations Office

Apart from undertaking media related work, this office arranges visits to the Judiciary by local organisations and overseas visitors. It also prepares publications and produces videos that introduce the work and procedures of various courts and tribunals. Most of these publications are available free in the court buildings. Contents of the publications and some videos are also uploaded onto the Judiciary website .

For enquiries on guided visits to the Court of Final Appeal, please refer to the Court of Final Appeal website or call 2123 0156.

For details of other visit arrangement, please call 2123 0156.

General Enquiries

You can obtain general information or make enquiries about court services by calling 2869 0869.