Magistrates' Court (Hong Kong)
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Magistrates' Court Hong Kong

Magistrates' courts
Kwun Tong Magistracy 1.jpg
Kwun Tong Magistrates' Court
LocationHong Kong
Authorized byHong Kong Basic Law, Magistrates Ordinance (Cap. 227)
Appeals toCourt of First Instance of the High Court; further appeal to the Court of Final Appeal in limited circumstance
WebsiteOfficial website
Chief Magistrate
CurrentlyMr Victor SO Wai-tak

Magistrates' courts in Hong Kong have criminal jurisdiction over a wide range of offenses, and in general these offenses must only constitute two years' imprisonment or a fine of HK$100,000; in certain circumstances, sentences of three years may be imposed. All criminal proceedings must begin in the magistrates' courts; the Secretary for Justice may transfer cases to either the District Court or the Court of First Instance depending on the seriousness of the crime.[1]

All judges and magistrates must have qualified as legal practitioners either in Hong Kong or in another common law jurisdiction and have had substantial professional experience.

Court structure

Chief Magistrate

The Chief Magistrate is the court leader and is responsible for the overall administration of the magistrates' courts.

Principal magistrate

A principal magistrate is in charge of one of the seven magistrates' courts.

Permanent magistrate

A permanent magistrate is a full-time magistrate, and is assigned to sit in one of the seven magistrates' courts.

The Chief Justice appoints on a temporary basis a number of principal and permanent magistrates to sit as a Master in the High Court[2] or to sit as a Deputy District Judge or Master in the District Court, Family Court or Lands Tribunal.[3][4][5] The Chief Justice also appoints a number of permanent magistrates to sit as Presiding Officers in the Labour Tribunal and Adjudicators in the Small Claims Tribunal.[6][7]

Special magistrate

A special magistrate is also a full-time magistrate, but is assigned to deal with various kinds of departmental summons including minor offenses such as traffic contraventions. Their sentencing power is limited to a maximum fine of HK$50,000 or as specified in their warrants of appointment.

Deputy magistrate / deputy special magistrate

A deputy magistrate or deputy special magistrate is assigned by the Chief Justice for such period and on such terms as he or she thinks fit. This makes additional manpower available to the magistrates' courts while also giving eligible persons experience on the bench, before he or she commits to a full-time posting or returns to private practice.

List of magistrates

Chief Magistrate

  • Mr So Wai-tak, Victor

Principal magistrates

Permanent magistrates

The current permanent magistrates (as at 1 January 2021) are (ranked according to seniority):

Special magistrate

Eligibility and retirement

Since 2019, the retirement age for magistrates' have been 65.[63]

List of chief magistrates since 1997

No. Name Tenure start Tenure end Tenure length Reason for tenure end Later most senior judicial role
1 Louis Tong Po-sun 2 March 1998 2 October 2000 2 years and 215 days Appointed Judge of the Court of First Instance Same (retired)
2 Patrick Li Hon-leung 3 October 2000 1 February 2007 6 years and 122 days Appointed District Court Judge Judge of the Court of First Instance (retired)
3 Tong Man 2 July 2008 15 September 2013 6 years and 122 days Retired None (retired)
4 Clement Lee Hing-nin 11 March 2014 2 January 2018 3 years and 298 days Appointed District Court Judge Same
5 Victor So Wai-tak 6 January 2020 Incumbent 1 year and 12 days

Gallery of magistrates' courts

Notes

  1. ^ Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge[8]
  2. ^ Sitting as District Court Registrar until 16 July 2021.[9] Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge.[10]
  3. ^ Sitting as a High Court Master until 17 October 2021[11]
  4. ^ Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge[12]
  5. ^ Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge[13]
  6. ^ Sitting as a District Court Master until 14 May 2021.[14] Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge.[15]
  7. ^ Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge[16]
  8. ^ Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge[17]
  9. ^ Sitting as a Deputy District Judge until 11 February 2021[18]
  10. ^ Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge[19]
  11. ^ Sitting as Principal Adjudicator (Acting) of the Small Claims Tribunal[20]
  12. ^ Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge[21]
  13. ^ Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge[22]
  14. ^ Sitting as a Deputy District Judge in the Family Court until 1 April 2021[23]
  15. ^ Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge[24]
  16. ^ Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge[25]
  17. ^ Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge[26]
  18. ^ Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge[27]
  19. ^ Sitting as a Deputy District Judge in the Family Court until 16 July 2021[28]
  20. ^ Sitting as a Labour Tribunal Presiding Officer.[29] Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge.[30]
  21. ^ Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge[31]
  22. ^ Sitting as a District Court Master until 21 May 2021.[32] Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge.[33]
  23. ^ Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge[34]
  24. ^ Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge[35]
  25. ^ Sitting as a Deputy District Judge until 25 June 2021[36]
  26. ^ Sitting as a Deputy District Judge in the Family Court until 28 May 2021[37]
  27. ^ Sitting as a District Court Master until 30 April 2021[38]
  28. ^ Sitting as a High Court Master until 23 April 2021[39]
  29. ^ Sitting as a Deputy District Judge in the Family Court until 28 May 2021[40]
  30. ^ Sitting as a Small Claims Tribunal Adjudicator[41]
  31. ^ Sitting as Principal Presiding Officer of the Labour Tribunal.[42] Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge.[43]
  32. ^ Sitting as a Deputy District Judge until 25 June 2021[44]
  33. ^ Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge[45]
  34. ^ Sitting as a District Court Master until 5 February 2021[46]
  35. ^ Sitting as a District Court Master until 18 June 2021[47]
  36. ^ Sitting as a High Court Master until 17 June 2021.[48] Previously sat as a Deputy District Judge.[49]
  37. ^ Sitting as a Deputy District Judge in the Lands Tribunal until 18 June 2021[50]
  38. ^ Previously sat as a Coroner[51]
  39. ^ Sitting as a District Court Master until 28 May 2021[52]
  40. ^ Sitting as a District Court Master until 22 January 2021[53]
  41. ^ Sitting as a Coroner[54]
  42. ^ Sitting as a Small Claims Tribunal Adjudicator[55]
  43. ^ Sitting as a District Court Master until 23 April 2021[56]
  44. ^ Sitting as a Labour Tribunal Presiding Officer[57]
  45. ^ Sitting as a Labour Tribunal Presiding Officer[58]
  46. ^ Sitting as a Small Claims Tribunal Adjudicator[59]
  47. ^ Sitting as a Small Claims Tribunal Adjudicator[60]
  48. ^ Sitting as a Labour Tribunal Presiding Officer[61]
  49. ^ Sitting as a deputy magistrate until 26 March 2021[62]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Hong Kong Judiciary Annual Report 2004" (PDF). Hong Kong Judiciary. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ High Court Ordinance (Cap. 4), sections 37AB, 37AC, 37A and 37B
  3. ^ District Court Ordinance (Cap. 336), sections 7, 14AB, 14A and 14B
  4. ^ Lands Tribunal Ordinance (Cap. 17), section 4(2)
  5. ^ v (), HCAL 1758/2019
  6. ^ Labour Tribunal Ordinance (Cap. 25), section 4
  7. ^ Small Claims Tribunal Ordinance (Cap. 338), section 4
  8. ^ "G.N. 3291", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 24, Vol. 20, 17 June 2016)
  9. ^ "G.N. 122", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 2, Vol. 25, 15 January 2021)
  10. ^ "G.N. 2214", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 13, Vol. 22, 29 March 2018)
  11. ^ "G.N. 120", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 2, Vol. 25, 15 January 2021)
  12. ^ "G.N. 4285", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 26, Vol. 21, 30 June 2018)
  13. ^ "G.N. 2215", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 13, Vol. 22, 29 March 2018)
  14. ^ "G.N. 6490", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 46, Vol. 24, 13 November 2020)
  15. ^ "G.N. 3567", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 26, Vol. 20, 20 June 2016)
  16. ^ "G.N. 3069", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 22, Vol. 20, 3 June 2016)
  17. ^ "G.N. 1210", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 12, Vol. 24, 20 March 2020)
  18. ^ "G.N. 4533", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 33, Vol. 24, 14 August 2020)
  19. ^ "G.N. 4519", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 29, Vol. 23, 19 July 2019)
  20. ^ "G.N. 1848", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 13, Vol. 14, 1 April 2010)
  21. ^ "G.N. 2806", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 18, Vol. 21, 5 May 2017)
  22. ^ "G.N. 6851", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 37, Vol. 22, 14 September 2018)
  23. ^ "G.N. 5566", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 40, Vol. 24, 30 September 2020)
  24. ^ "G.N. 2914", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 18, Vol. 23, 3 May 2019)
  25. ^ "G.N. 3079", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 24, Vol. 24, 12 June 2020)
  26. ^ "G.N. 5325", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 29, Vol. 22, 20 July 2018)
  27. ^ "G.N. 3442", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 22, Vol. 23, 31 May 2019)
  28. ^ "G.N. 121", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 2, Vol. 25, 15 January 2021)
  29. ^ "G.N. 7149", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 39, Vol. 22, 28 September 2020)
  30. ^ "G.N. 1827", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 11, Vol. 23, 15 March 2019)
  31. ^ "G.N. 2526", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 18, Vol. 20, 6 May 2016)
  32. ^ "G.N. 6650", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 47, Vol. 24, 20 November 2020)
  33. ^ "G.N. 4818", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 26, Vol. 22, 29 June 2018)
  34. ^ "G.N. 3901", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 22, Vol. 22, 1 June 2018)
  35. ^ "G.N. 2398", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 20, Vol. 24, 15 May 2020)
  36. ^ "G.N. 7481", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 52, Vol. 24, 24 December 2020)
  37. ^ "G.N. 6794", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 48, Vol. 24, 27 November 2020)
  38. ^ "G.N. 6144", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 44, Vol. 24, 30 October 2020)
  39. ^ "G.N. 3937", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 29, Vol. 24, 17 July 2020)
  40. ^ "G.N. 6795", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 48, Vol. 24, 27 November 2020)
  41. ^ "G.N. 6756", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 48, Vol. 18, 28 November 2014)
  42. ^ "G.N. 6750", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 48, Vol. 18, 28 November 2014)
  43. ^ "G.N. 4522", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 29, Vol. 23, 19 July 2019)
  44. ^ "G.N. 7480", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 52, Vol. 24, 24 December 2020)
  45. ^ "G.N. 3250", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 25, Vol. 24, 19 June 2020)
  46. ^ "G.N. 4445", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 32, Vol. 24, 7 August 2020)
  47. ^ "G.N. 7330", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 51, Vol. 24, 18 December 2020)
  48. ^ "G.N. 5343", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 39, Vol. 24, 25 September 2020)
  49. ^ "G.N. 8812", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 48, Vol. 22, 30 November 2018)
  50. ^ "G.N. 7328", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 51, Vol. 24, 18 December 2020)
  51. ^ "G.N. 3907", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 22, Vol. 22, 1 June 2018)
  52. ^ "G.N. 6798", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 48, Vol. 24, 27 November 2020)
  53. ^ "G.N. 3943", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 29, Vol. 24, 17 July 2020)
  54. ^ "G.N. 1906", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 17, Vol. 24, 24 April 2020)
  55. ^ "G.N. 1918", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 17, Vol. 24, 24 April 2020)
  56. ^ "G.N. 5999", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 43, Vol. 24, 23 October 2020)
  57. ^ "G.N. 2550", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 21, Vol. 24, 22 May 2020)
  58. ^ "G.N. 1912", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 17, Vol. 24, 24 April 2020)
  59. ^ "G.N. 1920", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 17, Vol. 24, 24 April 2020)
  60. ^ "G.N. 1921", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 17, Vol. 24, 24 April 2020)
  61. ^ "G.N. 3687", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 27, Vol. 24, 3 July 2020)
  62. ^ "G.N. 10", Hong Kong Government Gazette (No. 1, Vol. 25, 8 January 2021)
  63. ^ "Judicial Officers (Extension of Retirement Age) (Amendment) Bill 2019 gazetted". info.gov.hk. 1 March 2019.



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