Kwun Tong Magistrates' Court
|Authorized by||Hong Kong Basic Law, Magistrates Ordinance (Cap. 227)|
|Appeals to||Court of First Instance of the High Court; further appeal to the Court of Final Appeal in limited circumstance|
|Currently||Mr. SO Wai-tak (Acting)|
Magistrates' courts in Hong Kong are presided over by 'Permanent', 'Deputy' and 'Special' Magistrates. All must be professionally qualified. The distinction between Permanent and Deputy magistrates is merely tenure and procedure for appointment; though all must be professionally qualified, Special magistrates need not have practised in the profession but must have five years' experience in an ancillary courtroom role.
Permanent and Deputy Magistrates are empowered to impose sentences of up to two years' imprisonment and fines of up to HK$100,000 on a wide range of indictable and summary offences; in certain circumstances, sentences of 3 years may be imposed. Special Magistrates are generally assigned cases less serious in nature, such as traffic cases, but they are also empowered to impose sentences of imprisonment.
Pursuant to a general power of appointment to vacancies or on a temporary basis under section 7(3) of the District Court Ordinance, Cap. 336, the Chief Justice frequently makes short-term appointments of Permanent Magistrates to sit on the District Court.