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
What are the powers of the Court of Final Appeal?
The powers of the Court of Final Appeal are set out in section 17 of the Hong
Kong Court of Final Appeal Ordinance. This court may confirm, reverse or vary the decision of the court from which
the appeal lies or may remit the matter with its opinion to that court, or may make such other order in the
matter as it thinks fit.
What type of cases can be heard by the Court of Final Appeal?
For civil matters:
- Appeals at the discretion of the Court of Appeal or the Court of Final Appeal in any civil matter.
For criminal matters:
- Appeals, at the discretion of the Court of Final Appeal from:
- any final decision of the Court of Appeal,
- any final decision of the Court of First Instance (not being a verdict or finding of a jury) from which
no appeal lies to the Court of Appeal.
leave to appeal required?
Leave, i.e. permission, to appeal is required.
For civil appeals, no appeal shall be admitted unless leave to appeal has been granted either by the Court of
Appeal or the Court of Final Appeal. Leave will be granted if in the opinion of either court, the question
involved in the appeal is one which, because of its great general or public importance, or otherwise, ought
to be submitted to the Court of Final Appeal for decision. Where the Court of Appeal or the Court of Final
Appeal decides to grant leave to appeal, it may grant leave subject to such conditions as it considers necessary.
For criminal appeals, no appeal shall be admitted unless leave has been granted by the Court of Final Appeal.
Leave will only be granted if it is certified by the Court of Appeal or the Court of First Instance (as the
case may be) that a point of law of great and general importance is involved in the decision. Where the Court
of Appeal or the Court of First Instance declines to certify, the Court of Final Appeal may so certify the
matter and grant leave to appeal. Where an applicant relies only on the substantial and grave injustice ground,
he must apply directly to the Court of Final Appeal for leave.
should an application for leave to appeal be filed?
An application for leave to appeal must be filed within 28 days from the date of the judgment or decision to
be appealed from. In the case of civil appeals, the applicant must also give the opposite party 7 days' notice
of his intended application which may be given at any time during the period of 28 days.
hears the application for leave to appeal?
Application for leave to appeal is heard by the Appeal Committee, which usually consists of the Chief Justice
and two permanent judges, or three permanent judges nominated by the Chief Justice. The decision of the Appeal
Committee shall be final and not itself subject to appeal.
Where the Registrar is of the opinion that an application discloses no reasonable grounds for leave to appeal,
or is frivolous or fails to comply with the Rules, he may issue a summons to the applicant, calling upon him
to file written submissions and show cause before the Appeal Committee why the application should not be dismissed.
The Appeal Committee may, after considering the matter, order that the application be dismissed or give such
other directions as the justice of the case may require.
hears the appeal?
An appeal is heard and determined by the Court of Final Appeal, which is usually made up of the Chief Justice,
three permanent judges and either one non-permanent Hong Kong judge or one judge from another common law jurisdiction.
can I obtain further information on the appeal procedure?
The procedures of the Court are set out in the
Rules of the Court of Final Appeal. You may ask the Court of Final Appeal Registry for further information.
Address: 8 Jackson Road, Central, Hong Kong
Hotline Number: 2123 0123
Fax: 2121 0300
Whenever possible, the Judiciary will reply at once to correspondence from members of the public. If that is
not possible, an interim reply will be provided within 10 days and a full response within 30 days of receipt. If a full response cannot be given within 30 days, we will give you a further interim reply with a brief explanation.
Comments and suggestions for improving our services are welcome. Please send them to the Judiciary Administrator
at the High Court, 38 Queensway, Hong Kong.
No Legal Advice
In order to maintain the impartial role of the Judiciary, our staff will not provide any legal advice or offer
any comment on the conduct or merits of specific court cases and proceedings.
Please note that you should consult a legal practitioner or approach free legal advisory bodies for assistance
if you require legal advice or assistance.
Registry / Accounts Offices
|Monday to Friday
||8:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
||2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
(Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays)