3. Are there any other law courts in Hong Kong?
There are a number of courts and tribunals which have the authority to deliver judgments on disputes relating to specific or defined areas such as the Coroner's Court, the Juvenile Court, the Lands Tribunal, the Labour Tribunal, the Small Claims Tribunal and the Obscene Articles Tribunal.
The Coroner's Court inquires into the nature or the cause of deaths which occur as a result of accident or violence or under suspicious circumstances.
The Juvenile Court hears charges against children and young persons under the age of 16 for any offence other than homicide. Children under the age of 10 are deemed not to have reached the age of criminal responsibility and accordingly no court, including the Juvenile Court, has jurisdiction over cases involving such young people. The Juvenile Court also has the jurisdiction to make care and protection orders in respect of young persons under the age of 18.
The Lands Tribunal deals with cases arising from tenancy disputes and matters in relation to building management. It also hears applications for the determination of compensations caused by land resumption and the appeals against the assessment of rateable value or government rent or market value of properties under the Housing Ordinance.
The Labour Tribunal deals with claims arising from the alleged breach of terms of employment contracts such as arrears of wages, statutory holiday pay, maternity leave pay, etc. The hearings are informal and no legal representation by lawyers is allowed. To get more information about how to prepare for the trial (from both the Claimant's and the Defendant's perspective), please click here.
Small Claims Tribunal
The Small Claims Tribunal hears minor monetary claims involving amounts not exceeding $75,000. The hearings are informal and no legal representation by lawyers is allowed. To get more information about how to prepare for the trial (from both the Claimant's and the Defendant's perspective), please click here.
Obscene Articles Tribunal
The main function of the Obscene Articles Tribunal is to determine and classify whether or not an article or other matter publicly displayed is obscene or indecent.
Commissions and Commissioners
In addition to the judicial and administrative tribunals described above, there are a number of other bodies set up to oversee compliance with specific legislation and to which members of the public may have channels to speak out if they feel aggrieved. Some of them may be closely related to our daily lives, such as the Office of the Ombudsman, the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Privacy Commissioner's Office.