Court of Final Appeal (Hong Kong)

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For the building, see Court of Final Appeal Building.
Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal
香港終審法院
Court of Final Appeal logo.png
The logo features the Court of Final Appeal Building
Established 1997
Location 8 Jackson Road, Central,
 Hong Kong[1]
Coordinates 22°16′45.75″N 114°9′34.71″E / 22.2793750°N 114.1596417°E / 22.2793750; 114.1596417Coordinates: 22°16′45.75″N 114°9′34.71″E / 22.2793750°N 114.1596417°E / 22.2793750; 114.1596417
Composition method Appointed by the Chief Executive acting in accordance with the recommendation of the Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission
Authorized by Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Ordinance
Judge term length The Chief Justice and permanent judges shall vacate their offices when they attain the retiring age, but there is no retiring age for non-permanent judges
Number of positions 26 (permanent and non-permanent judges)
Website Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal
Chief Justice
Currently Geoffrey Ma
Since 1 September 2010

The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (香港終審法院) is the final appellate court of Hong Kong.

Role[edit]

Before 1 July 1997, Hong Kong was a British Dependent Territory, and the power of final adjudication on the laws of Hong Kong was vested in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London. The sovereignty of Hong Kong was transferred from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China on 1 July 1997. Based on one country, two systems principle, Hong Kong remains its highly autonomous power and maintains its own legal system. The Court of Final Appeal was thereby established in Central, Hong Kong. Since then, it serves as the court of last resort, thus executing the power of final adjudication on the laws of Hong Kong.

Under the Basic Law, the constitutional document of Hong Kong, the special administrative region remains a common law jurisdiction. Judges from other common law jurisdictions can be recruited and serve in the judiciary as non-permanent judges according to Article 92 of the Basic Law. Judges appointed pursuant to Article 92 have typically served in the judiciaries of England and Wales or Australia.

The court has the power of final adjudication with respect to the law of Hong Kong as well as the power of final interpretation over local laws including the power to strike down local ordinances on the grounds of inconsistency with the Basic Law.[2][3] The power of final interpretation of national law including the Basic Law is vested in the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China (NPCSC) by virtue of Article 158 of the Basic Law and by the Constitution of the PRC, however national laws which are not explicitly listed in Annex III of the Basic Law are not operative in Hong Kong.

Article 158 delegates such power to the courts of Hong Kong for interpretation while handling court cases. Although this arrangement has attracted criticism of "undermining judicial independence", an interpretation by the NPCSC does not affect any court judgments already rendered. Controversy regarding this power of interpretation arose in the right of abode issue in 1999.

Building[edit]

From its inception until September 2015, the court was located in the Former French Mission Building, in Central.[4] In September 2015 the court relocated to the former (until 2011) Legislative Council Building, which was originally the colonial Supreme Court (1912–1985).

Gallery[edit]

List of judges[edit]

Permanent judges[edit]

Title and Name Date of birth Appointed by Took office Prior positions
Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal
The Hon Mr Justice Geoffrey Ma
January 1956  Hong Kong Donald Tsang 2010 Barrister since 1978, Recorder of the Court of First Instance of the High Court (2000–2001), Judge of the Court of First Instance (2001–2002), Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal (2002–2003), Chief Judge of the High Court in Hong Kong (2003–2010)
The Hon Mr Justice Ribeiro 1949  Hong Kong Tung Chee-Hwa 2000 Former legal academic and lawyer since 1979, Recorder of the High Court (1997–1999), Judge of the High Court (1999–2000), Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal (2000)
The Hon Mr Justice Tang 1947  Republic of China Leung Chun-ying 2012 Barrister since 1970, Deputy District Judge 1982–1986, Deputy High Court Judge 1986–1995, Recorder for the High Court of Justice/Court of First Instance 1995–2005, Vice-President of the Court of Appeal (2006–2012), Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal (2005)
The Hon Mr Justice Fok September 1962  Hong Kong Leung Chun-ying 2013 Barrister in Hong Kong since 1986, Recorder of the Court of First Instance of the High Court (2003–2009), Judge of the Court of First Instance (2010–2011), Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal (2011–2013)

Former permanent judges[edit]

Non-Permanent judges[edit]

Chinese title and name English title and name Tenure Prior positions
司徒敬法官 The Honourable Mr Justice Frank STOCK 1 September 2010- Vice-President of the Court of Appeal of the High Court of Hong Kong
夏正民法官 The Honourable Mr Justice Michael John HARTMANN 1 September 2010- Judge of the High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, District Judge (Hong Kong)
包致金法官 The Honourable Mr Justice Syed Kemal Shah BOKHARY 25 October 2012- Judge of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong (1989–1993), Justice of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong (1993–1997), Permanent Judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (1997–2012)
陳兆愷法官 The Honourable Mr Justice Patrick CHAN Siu-oi 21 October 2013 – Judge of the District Court (1987–1991), Deputy Registrar of the High Court (1991–1992), Judge of the High Court (1992–1997), Chief Judge of the High Court (1997–2000), Permanent Judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (2000–2012)

Non-Permanent Judges from other common law jurisdictions[edit]

Chinese title and name English title and name Tenure Remarks
賀輔明勳爵 United KingdomThe Right Honourable the Lord HOFFMANN 12 January 1998- Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (1995-2009)
苗禮治勳爵 United KingdomThe Right Honourable the Lord MILLETT 28 July 2000- Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (1998-2004)
紀立信先生 Australia The Honourable Mr Justice Gleeson 1 March 2009- Chief Justice of Australia (1998-2008), Chief Justice of New South Wales, (1988-1998)
華學佳勳爵 United KingdomThe Right Honourable the Lord WALKER of Gestingthorpe 1 March 2009- Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (2009-2013), Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (2002-2009)
廖柏嘉勳爵 United KingdomThe Right Honourable the Lord NEUBERGER of Abbotsbury 1 March 2009- President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (2012– ), Master of the Rolls (2009–2012), Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (2007-2009)
郝廉思勳爵 United KingdomThe Right Honourable the Lord COLLINS of Mapesbury 30 June 2011- Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (2009-2011); Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (2009)
簡嘉麒勳爵 United KingdomThe Right Honourable the Lord CLARKE of Stone-cum-Ebony 30 June 2011- Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (2009-), Master of the Rolls (2005-2009)
范理申勳爵 United KingdomThe Right Honourable the Lord PHILLIPS of Worth Matravers 1 October 2012- President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (2009–2012), Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales (2005–2008), Master of the Rolls (2000–2005)
施覺民法官 Australia The Honourable Mr Justice Spigelman 8 April 2013 – Chief Justice of New South Wales (1998–2011)
甘慕賢法官 Australia The Honourable Mr Justice Gummow 8 April 2013 – Justice of the High Court of Australia (1995–2012)

Former non-permanent judges[edit]

  • Sir Denys Roberts (28 July 1997-27 July 2003)
  • Sir Alan Huggins (28 July 1997-27 July 2003)
  • Art McMullin[5] (28 July 1997-27 July 2003)
  • Neil Macdougall[6] (28 July 1997-27 July 2003)
  • Sir Derek Cons[7] (28 July 1997-27 July 2006)
  • Philip Gerard Clough[8] (28 July 1997-27 July 2006)
  • William James Silke[9] (28 July 1997-27 July 2009)
  • Kutlu Tekin Fuad[10] (28 July 1997-27 July 2009)
  • Sir Noel Power (28 July 1997-19 November 2009)
  • Gerald Nazareth (28 July 1997-27 July 2012)
  • Charles Ching (7 October 2000-30 November 2000)
  • Robert Tang (1 September 2010-24 October 2012)
  • John B. Mortimer (28 July 1997-27 July 2015)
  • Henry Litton (14 September 2000-27 July 2015)

Other common law jurisdictions[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]