IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
MAGISTRACY APPEAL NO.124 OF 2000
(ON APPEAL FROM SPS NOS.2285-7 OF 1999)
Coram: Hon Gall J in Court
Dates of Hearing: 7 July 2000
Date of Judgment: 7 July 2000
J U D G M E N T
1. This is an application for a certificate for leave to appeal to the Court of Final Appeal. The application is brought on the basisthat there is a reasonably arguable ground of appeal, being a requirement set out in Lee Kin Pong v. Hong Kong Special Administration Region, FAMC11 of 1997 on an application for leave to appeal, but the onus persuading me that the application should be granted being withthe applicant, as is held by Woo Lai Wing v. Hong Kong Special Administration Region, FAMC10 of 1997 on application for leave to appeal.
2. The applicant was convicted of three charges, contrary to section 46(1) of the Legal Practitioner’s Ordinance, and the basis of his appeal was that the word “wilfully” contained in that section did not, as a matter of mens rea, import recklessness.The law defining “wilful” was set out in the majority judgment of R v. Sheppard  AC 394 (HL), and that judgment was followed when the appeal was dismissed in respect of each of the three charges. The applicant argues thatthere is some equivocation in that judgment and that the matter need to be fully argued by the Court of Final Appeal.
3. Further, Mr Bedford before me refers me to the case of The Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset v. Shimmen  Cr.App.R.7, which considered, among other propositions, the circumstance where a person, who is aware of the kind of riskswhich would attend his act if he does not take precautions, takes precautions which are intended and expected to eliminate the risk,but the precautions are plainly, and are plainly to him, inadequate. The court in Shimmen held that such recklessness was sufficient to make out the mens rea of the offence.
4. I am satisfied, having heard Mr Bedford and having considered those two cases – both of which having been heard in 1981 and therehaving been no law or no precedent since which distinguishes those authorities or materially changes the law that they are both persuasiveon set out the law as it stands – that this appeal is not reasonably arguable.
5. Further, this is a narrow point restricted to section 46(1) of the Legal Practitioner’s Ordinance and I do not consider it as a matter of great and general importance for the appeal to be heard by the Court of Final Appeal. Thisapplication for leave is refused.
Mr Robert Lee, SGC of Department of Justice, for HKSAR
Mr Nigel Bedford, instructed by Messrs So, Keung, Yip & Sin, for the Applicant