IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CIVIL ACTION NO. 18479 OF 2001
Coram: Deputy District Judge Frederick Chan in Chambers (Open to the public)
Date of Hearing: 18 September 2008
Date of Decision: 18 September 2008
R U L I N G
1. This case has a long and chequered history and the case is about matters of principle. His Honour Judge Lok is obviously familiarwith the case, indeed his Honour had given two unreported Rulings respectively dated 21 April 2008 and 23 July 2008.
2. A bit of history. The case was scheduled to be heard by His Honour Judge Yung today for trial and five whole days were allocatedfor trial. Due to some compelling reasons, His Honour Judge Yung most reluctantly had ordered that the case be transferred to mycourt. The case was brought up before me and ended up before me at about 3.45 pm today. I adjourned into Chambers to determineany case management issues.
3. Mr Fung, SC., for the Plaintiff addressed me on the long history of the case and indicated that it was all along the intention andanticipation that the case would be tried before His Honour Judge Lok and now the Plaintiff formally applies for leave of this courtto see whether the case could be adjourned for trial before His Honour Judge Lok for a five day trial.
4. With the kind agreement of Mr Wong, counsel for the Defendant, I consulted the court’s diaries and managed to locate a five dayslot commencing from 25 March 2009 before His Honour Judge Lok. The Plaintiff, again through Mr Fung, SC., asked for those dates. Mr Wong submitted, however, that the case had been dragging on since 2001 and it is his client’s instructions to deal with thecase and trial before me.
5. At the time when I speak, when I deliver this Ruling, it is already the end of the first day. Obviously, the allocated four dayswill be insufficient to deal with this trial. Without delving on the details and particulars, I was also given to understand thatMr Fung, SC., and Mr Wong, both of them would not be available at the later part of next week and it is highly likely, they submit,that if the case were to be commenced before me, we will go part-heard.
6. Balancing all the parties’ interests and overriding objective of giving a fair trial to both parties, I decided to adjourn thecase to the five days commencing from 25 March 2009 for a trial proper before His Honour Judge Lok. I of course considered all thematters in the round most carefully and I am grateful to counsel for their helpful submission, but I will seek to highlight the followingfactors:-
7. So I will adjourn this trial to next year. Costs of today’s hearing be in the cause.
Mr Patrick Fung, S. C. and Mr T L Ko, instructed by George Y.C. Mok & Co., for the Plaintiff
Mr Y.F Wong, instructed by Wong, Hui & Co., for the Defendant