LEE PUI KUEN v. ASIA TELEVISION LTD.

CACV000135A/2000

CACV 135/2000

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF APPEAL

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 135 OF 2000

(ON APPEAL FROM HCA 7775/1992)

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BETWEEN
LEE PUI KUEN Plaintiff
AND
ASIA TELEVISION LIMITED Defendant

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Coram: Hon Mayo Ag. CJHC and Rogers VP in Court

Date of Hearing: 21 September 2000

Date of Judgment: 21 September 2000

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J U D G M E N T

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Hon Mayo Ag. CJHC (giving the judgment of the Court):

1. This is an application for leave to appeal to the Court of Final Appeal. It is accepted by the plaintiff that it is an interlocutoryappeal. Hence section 22(1)(b) of the Court of Final Appeal Ordinance, Cap. 484 is applicable and it is necessary for the plaintiffto demonstrate that a question of great general or public importance is involved or that it ought otherwise be submitted to the Courtof Final Appeal for its determination.

2. The certified question now is:

“… to what extent a defendant who has done little or nothing to prepare for trial can rely on his own inactivity and non compliancewith court orders as prejudice.”

3. The plaintiff has not been able to demonstrate that this question complies with the requirements of section 22(1)(b).

4. The short answer to this is that the Court of Appeal proceeded upon the basis that the defendant was not entitled to place relianceupon any prejudice arising as a consequent of its failure to comply with court orders.

5. There is no overriding reason why leave should be granted to appeal to the Court of Final Appeal. The reason why the appeal was successfulwas that it was clear from the available material including the Deputy Judge’s judgment that it would be impossible to have a fairtrial after such a protracted period of time. This being the case the motion is denied.

(Simon Mayo) (Anthony Rogers)
Chief Judge, High Court (Ag.) Vice-President

Representation:

Miss Audrey Eu, SC and Mr Benjamin Chain, instructed by Messrs Siao, Wen & Leung, for the plaintiff

Mr Charles Sussex, SC, instructed by Messrs Boase, Cohen & Collins for the defendant