- Court of Final Appeal (Hong Kong)
The Court of Final Appeal of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
Jurisdiction Hong Kong Location 1 Battery Path, Central, Hong Kong Coordinates Coordinates: Authorized by Hong Kong Basic Law Website HK Judiciary Chief Justice Currently Geoffrey Ma Since September 1, 2010
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, and 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 (including England and Wales) can be recruited and serve in the judiciary according to Article 92 of the Basic Law.
The court has the power of final interpretation with regard to all laws in force in Hong Kong save the Basic Law. The power of interpretation of 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. However, the same Article 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. The courts' power of interpretation is necessary for any judicial activities to be carried out. Controversy regarding this power of interpretation arose in the right of abode issue in 1999.
The court is located in the Former French Mission Building, in Central. The Hong Kong Government is planning to relocate it to the present Legislative Council Building, which was originally designed to be a lawcourt and was once the location of the colonial Supreme Court, in 2011.
List of judges
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 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 of the High Court (2002-2010), Chief Judge of the High Court in Hong Kong (2003-2010) The Hon Mr Justice Bokhary 1947 Hong Kong Tung Chee-Hwa 1997 Judge of the High Court, Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal 1993-1997 The Hon Mr Justice Chan Hong Kong Tung Chee-Hwa 2000 Chief Judge of the High Court The Hon Mr Justice Ribeiro 1949 Hong Kong Tung Chee-Hwa 2000 Recorder of the High Court 1997, Judge of the High Court 1999, Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal 1999-2000 Politics and government of Hong Kong
Chief Executive: Donald Tsang
Chief Secretary: Stephen Lam
Financial Secretary: John Tsang
Secretary for Justice: Wong Yan-lung
Convenor of unofficials: Ronald Arculli
Bureaus, depts, etc.
Political Appointments Accountability System
President: Jasper Tsang
Court of Final Appeal
Chief Justice: Geoffrey Ma
Other Hong Kong topics Culture - Economy
Education - Geography - History
Hong Kong Portal
Title and name Date of birth Appointed by Took office Prior positions Mr Gerald Nazareth, GBS Vice President of the Court of Appeal of Hong Kong, Justice of the Court of Appeal of Bermuda The Hon. Justice John B. Mortimer, GBS QC 7 August 1931 United Kingdom Tung Chee-Hwa 1997 Justice of High Court of Justice of England and Wales from 1985 to 1993, Lord Justice of Appeal from 1993 to 1997, and Vice President of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales from 1997 to 1999 The Hon Henry Litton, GBM 1934 Hong Kong Tung Chee-Hwa 1997 Chairman of Hong Kong Bar Association; Vice President of the Hong Kong Court of Appeal 1995-1997; Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal 1997-2000 The Hon Sir Anthony Mason 21 April 1925 Australia Tung Chee-Hwa 1997 Former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia and judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales The Rt Hon the Lord Hoffmann 8 May 1934 South Africa Tung Chee-Hwa Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (Law Lord) of the UK House of Lords; former Lord Justice of Appeal The Hon Sir Gerard Brennan 22 May 1928 Australia Tung Chee-Hwa 2000 Former Chief Justice of Australia, High Court of Australia; Federal Court of Australia The Rt Hon the Lord Millett 23 June 1932 United Kingdom Tung Chee-Hwa 2000 Law Lord, House of Lords (UK) The Rt Hon the Lord Woolf of Barnes 2 May 1933 United Kingdom Tung Chee-Hwa 2003 Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (Law Lord); and former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales The Rt Hon the Lord Scott of Foscote 2 October 1934 South Africa Tung Chee-Hwa 2003 Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (Law Lord); former justice of High Court of Justice of England and Wales (Chancery Division), Lord Justice of Appeal, Vice-Chancellor of the Supreme Court The Hon. Michael McHugh 1 November 1935 Australia Donald Tsang 2005 Former justice of the High Court of Australia The Rt Hon Sir Thomas Gault 31 October 1938 New Zealand Donald Tsang The Hon. Murray Gleeson, AC 30 August 1938 Australia Donald Tsang 2008 Former chief justice of the High Court of Australia The Rt Hon the Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe 17 March 1938 United Kingdom Donald Tsang The Hon Mr Justice Michael J. Hartmann 24 July 1944 British India Donald Tsang 2010 Justice of the Court of Appeal of Hong Kong, Justice of the Court of First Instance of Hong Kong, Judge of the District Court of Hong Kong The Rt Hon the Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury 10 January 1948 United Kingdom Donald Tsang The Rt Hon the Lord Collins of Mapesbury 7 May 1941 United Kingdom Donald Tsang 2011 Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom; Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (Law Lord); Lord Justice of Appeal The Rt Hon the Lord Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony 13 May 1943 United Kingdom Donald Tsang 2011 Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom; Master of the Rolls and Records of the Chancery of England; Lord Justice of Appeal
- Judiciary of Hong Kong
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The power of final interpretation of the Basic Law of Hong Kong is vested in: NPC Standing Committee
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