IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3972 OF 2003
Coram: H H Judge Carlson in Chambers
Date of Ruling: 24 March 2004
R U L I N G
1. When faced with an application for leave to appeal, a judge at first instance must obviously approach the matter completely dispassionatelyand in no sense be defensive about his own judgment. In any event, as I follow the principles, the hurdle for a would-be appellantis not an especially high one. The principle is that in Smith v Cotsworth Casting Processes Limited  1 WLR 1538, the judgment of the court being one by Woolf LJ, as he then was, the principle being that the court will only refuse leave if satisfiedthat the applicant has no realistic prospect of succeeding on the appeal. And as I have just indicated, it is not an especially highhurdle but it is a filter through which a would-be appellant must pass.
2. In this matter, I take the view that Miss Ng, notwithstanding her submissions, has failed to get through that filter.
3. It seems to me that this is a matter of discretion but, of course, it is a discretion that needs to be exercised correctly, bothas a matter of discretion, as that word is commonly understood, but also there is also the requirement that the judge must be shownto have been right as a matter of law.
4. Looking at this matter overall, it seems to me that the appellants, as I shall describe them, would fail in this matter, and in thosecircumstances I am going to refuse leave, inevitably I would have thought, Miss Ng, with costs against you and certificate for counsel.
Present: Ms Debra Poon, instructed by Yu Hung & Co., for the Plaintiff
Ms Jennifer Ng, instructed by Peter W K Lo & Co., for the Defendant