Magistrates' court (Hong Kong)

Magistrates' courts
Kwun Tong Magistracy 1.jpg
Kwun Tong Magistrates' Court
Location Hong Kong
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
Website Official website
Chief Magistrate
Currently Mr 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 [ edit ]

Chief Magistrate [ edit ]

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

Principal magistrate [ edit ]

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

Permanent magistrate [ edit ]

A permanent magistrate is a full-time magistrate, and is assigned to sit in one of the seven magistrates' courts. The Chief Justice frequently makes short-term appointments of permanent magistrates to sit on the District Court.[2]

Special magistrate [ edit ]

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 [ edit ]

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 judges [ edit ]

Chief Magistrate [ edit ]

  • Mr So Wai-tak, Victor

Principal magistrates [ edit ]

  • Ms CHAINRAI Bina
  • Mr LAW Tak-chuen, Peter
  • Mr LUI Kin-man, Simon
  • Mr HO Chin-pang, Dick
  • Miss YIM Shun-yee, Ada
  • Mr SO Man-lung, Don
  • Miss CHUI Yee-mei, Ivy

Permanent magistrates [ edit ]

  • Mr MAK Kwok-cheung
  • Mr TO Ho-shing
  • Mr CHEANG Kei-hong
  • Mr WONG Kwok-fai, Raymond
  • Ms CHAN Wai-mun
  • Miss CHOW Pok-fun, Josephine
  • Mr YIP Sue-pui, Lawrence
  • Mr WAN Siu-ming, Jason
  • Mr LI Chi-ho
  • Ms WONG Susan
  • Ms LAU Yee-wan, Winnie
  • Mr TANG Siu-hung, Daniel
  • Mr CHEUNG Chi-wai, David
  • Mr CHENG Lim-chi
  • Ms LAM Mei-sze, Michelle
  • Mr CHUM Yau-fong, David
  • Mr SHUM Kei-leong, Timon
  • Mr KO Wai-hung
  • Miss HO Wai-yang
  • Ms CHEUNG Kit-yee
  • Ms CHEUNG Tin-ngan,June
  • Ms WONG Sze-lai
  • Miss NG Chung-yee, Debbie
  • Ms HEUNG Shuk-han, Veronica
  • Ms TO Kit-ling, Doris
  • Ms SHUI Kelly
  • Ms CHENG Kam-lin, Catherine
  • Mr CHAN Ping-chau, Kenneth
  • Mr LEE Siu-ho
  • Mr CHOW Chi-wei, Raymund
  • Ms CHU Yuen-yee
  • Mr CHAN David
  • Ms WONG Nga-yan, Peony
  • Mr WONG Sze-cheung, Colin
  • Ms SO Ka-yin, Rita
  • Miss LEE Kar-lok, Jacqueline
  • Mr HO Chun-yiu
  • Ms SOONG Wing-sum
  • Ms LEUNG Ka-kie
  • Ms TSUI May-har, Stephanie
  • Ms LEUNG Siu-ling
  • Mr IP Kai-leung, Jacky
  • Mr PANG Leung-ting
  • Ms CHUNG Ming-sun, May
  • Miss CHAN Lo-yee, Louise
  • Mr WONG Ching-yu, Edward
  • Mr LAM Tsz-kan
  • Mr LEUNG Man-liang, Matthew
  • Miss LAU Suk-han
  • Mr MOK Tze-chung, Andrew
  • Miss LEUNG Nga-yan, Frances
  • Mr LAM Hei-wei, Arthur
  • Ms CHOW Wai-choo, Monica
  • Ms CHAK Kwok-yee
  • Mr LAM Chak-ming
  • Ms YEUNG Yee-na, Eleanor
  • Miss SIU Chi-wan, Jo
  • Mr LUNG Gwun-ting
  • Miss WAT Lai-man, Minnie
  • Mr YU Chun-cheung, Peter
  • Mr SZE Cho-yiu, Jeffrey
  • Mr PUN Wang-hon, Dominic

Special magistrate [ edit ]

  • Mr Yu Chun-pong

Eligibility and retirement [ edit ]

Since 2019, the retirement age for magistrates' have been 65.[3]

List of chief magistrates since 1997 [ edit ]

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
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 326 days

Gallery of magistrates' courts [ edit ]

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ "Hong Kong Judiciary Annual Report 2004"(PDF). Hong Kong Judiciary. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  2. ^ see example: "Appointment of Deputy Judge of the District Court"(PDF).
  3. ^ "Judicial Officers (Extension of Retirement Age) (Amendment) Bill 2019 gazetted". 1 March 2019.

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