IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
ACTION NO. 2533 OF 2006
Before: Deputy High Court Judge Carlson in Chambers
Date of Hearing: 27 July 2009
Date of Judgment: 27 July 2009
R U L I N G
1. I have decided – subject to one matter of some importance, which can be dealt with in the pre-trial review – that I ought to takeall this evidence at the trial and deal with questions of admissibility at the end, the result of which I shall indicate in the courseof my judgment in the case. I can see that may give rise to some difficulties from the defendant’s point of view, who has indicatedthat if I were to rule that evidence in he would wish to call supplemental evidence, which he would not need to call if this evidenceis ruled out. That is something that has caused me some concern. For that reason, what I am going to say is this.
2. I have now indicated my view as to how I consider this should be dealt with although this will be a provisional view because thereis going to be a pre-trial review. The only thing that may cause me to change my mind would be a sight of the supplementary evidence.So the defendant’s solicitors are going to have to prepare that evidence in case they need to use it, and I will look at it. Therewill no doubt be an objection from the plaintiff, who would also want to look at it, but initially only I will see this evidence.I will deal with the question of whether I should also show it to the plaintiff at the PTR. But in fact nothing may come of this.
3. If I were to take the view that this evidence would be difficult for the defendant to deploy on a theoretical or provisional basisin the course of the trial, then at the pre-trial review I may take the view that I ought to deal with the question of admissibilityseparately at the pre-trial review. I hope I have made myself clear.
4. So the pre-trial review will to be listed at 10 o’clock, with three hours provided for. It may well mean that we will not needthree hours, and that quite a bit of court time will be wasted, but I think this is the only way to list the PTR.
5. Mr Wright, I hope I have made myself clear about this. I am against you provisionally. But if you come up with something particularlytelling with your supplemental evidence that you would wish to deploy, I will look at it and I may change my mind. But at the momentI am against you.
6. I will also indicate, if it helps, that I do not know whether I have been appointed the trial judge, but I can indicate that I havespent quite a lot of time looking at these papers. I am now familiar with the case. I have heard this case management conferenceand it may be thought by those in charge of listing these matters that perhaps I ought to be the trial judge whenever that is tobe. I will now give leave for the case to be set down for trial with, just to be on the safe side, an 11 day estimate. So, in anideal world, perhaps we could start on a Friday, and then we would have the succeeding two working weeks after that.
7. Is there anything else that you can think of? I have given the direction about the Wood affidavits and Madam Cao’s witness statement.
(Discussion re formal direction regarding defendant’s summons dated 24 April)
8. Well, I have given a provisional view. I am trying to be as helpful as I can. That can then be adjourned to be listed together withthe pre-trial review, which in the usual way will take place six weeks before the start of the trial itself. What I will do is toask for a transcript of my remarks, and it can be shown to whoever wants to see it.
9. So costs can be in the cause, I expect. Thank you very much. Thank you both.
Chan Pat-lun, instructed by Messrs Haldanes, for the Plaintiff
Colin Wright, instructed by Kennedys, for the Defendant