WONG TAK WOON v. SECRETARY FOR PLANNING, ENVIRONMENT AND LANDS

FAMV000009/2000

FAMV No. 9 of 2000

IN THE COURT OF FINAL APPEAL OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

MISCELLANEOUS PROCEEDINGS NO. 9 OF 2000 (CIVIL)

(ON APPLICATION FOR LEAVE TO APPEAL

FROM CACV NO. 339 OF 1999)

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Between:
WONG TAK WOON
Applicant
AND
SECRETARY FOR PLANNING, ENVIRONMENT AND LANDS
Respondent

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Appeal Committee: Mr Justice Litton PJ, Mr Justice Bokhary PJ and Mr Justice Silke NPJ

Date of Hearing: 27 June 2000

Date of Determination: 27 June 2000

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D E T E R M I N A T I O N

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Mr Justice Bokhary PJ:

1. We will refer to the applicant as “the landowner” and to the respondent as “the Secretary”. The Secretary is empowered by s.15 of the Land Development Corporation Ordinance, Cap. 15, to recommend to the Chief Executive in Council the resumption of land under the Lands Resumption Ordinance, Cap. 124. The Secretary decided to so recommend such resumption of the landowner’s land at 19 Cross St in Wanchai. On 6 October1999 the landowner was informed of that decision. And on 8 November 1999 she took out an application for leave to apply for judicialreview thereof.

2. On 15 November 1999, for the reasons which he gave in writing on the following day, Cheung J refused such leave.

3. On 11 January 2000 the Court of Appeal (Keith JA and Ribeiro J) handed down a judgment affirming the judge’s refusal of leave toapply for judicial review. On 3 March 2000 the Court of Appeal refused the landowner leave to appeal to the Court of Final Appeal.

4. The landowner now seeks this Committee’s leave to appeal to the Court of Final Appeal.

5. In the Court of Appeal Keith JA decided against the landowner on one ground. Ribeiro J agreed with Keith JA on that ground and, inaddition, decided against the landowner on two other grounds.

6. This is how Keith JA stated the ground on which he and Ribeiro J were agreed:

“…it was not arguable that, in assessing the compensation for land resumed pursuant to a recommendation to the Chief Executive underthe Land Development Corporation Ordinance (Cap. 15), account may be taken of the value of such property as would be built on the land under any proposed development.”

7. In stating the two grounds upon which he proceeded on his own, Ribeiro J said that the first was that:

“… a judicial review of the offer of acquisition was precluded by the Ordinance because it provides the intended machinery underthe Lands Resumption Ordinance for determining the value at which land should be acquired when an offer of acquisition is unacceptable to the land owner [and] thisleft no room for an application for judicial review of an offer considered to be too low.”

8. Secondly, Ribeiro J said that:

“…it was entirely proper for the [Land Development Corporation] to be guided by the amount of compensation achievable under theprescribed [Lands Resumption Ordinance] machinery when deciding what would be a fair and reasonable offer since that was the fallbackposition if agreement could not be reached.”

9. Unless the Court of Final Appeal were to take a different view on all three of these grounds, an appeal to the Court would fail.

We see no reasonable prospect of the Court of Final Appeal taking a different view on any of those grounds let alone all three ofthem.

10. Leave to appeal is refused.

(Henry Litton) (Kemal Bokhary) (William Silke)
Permanent Judge Permanent Judge Non-Permanent Judge

Representation:

Applicant in person

Respondent absent