Cef New Asia Co. Ltd. v Wong Kwong Yiu, John

CourtCourt of Appeal (Hong Kong)
Judgment Date08 Jun 1999
Citation[1999] 3 HKLRD 697
Judgement NumberCACV77/1999
SubjectCivil Appeal
CACV000077/1999 CEF NEW ASIA CO. LTD. v. WONG KWONG YIU, JOHN

CACV000077/1999

CACV 77/1999

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF APPEAL

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 77 OF 1999

(ON APPEAL FROM HCA 374 OF 1998)

BETWEEN
CEF NEW ASIA COMPANY LIMITED
Plaintiff
(Respondent)
AND
WONG KWONG YIU, JOHN
Defendant
(Appellant)

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Coram: Hon. Leong, J.A. and Yuen, J. in Court

Date of hearing: 26 May 1999

Date of handing down judgment: 8 June 1999

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J U D G M E N T

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Leong, J.A. (giving the judgment of the Court):

1. On 30th September 1996, the plaintiff (respondent) CEF New Asia Co. Ltd, obtained in the Tainan District Court, Taiwan, a judgment in the sum of NT$52,596 and US$62,500 with interests and costs against the defendant (appellant) Wong Kwong Yiu, John. On 31st May 1997 the judgment was confirmed as final and conclusive in the same court. The defendant failed to satisfy that judgment.

2. On 9th January 1998, the plaintiff issued a writ in the High Court against the defendant claiming the sum awarded as a judgment debt. On 11th January 1999, in an Order 14 summons application, Master Poon granted summary judgment to the plaintiff in the sum claimed. The defendant's appeal against the Master's order was dismissed by Yeung, J. The defendant now appeals against the decision of Yeung, J.

3. The parties accept that if the judgment of the Taiwan court is recognised in Hong Kong courts, at common law, the defendant would have no defence to an action by the plaintiff on that judgment.

4. The defendant's defence is that Hong Kong Courts do not and should not recognise the status, existence or competence of any court in Taiwan and that Hong Kong as part of the People's Republic of China only recognises one country of China i.e. the People's Republic of China and a judgment of a court in Taiwan should not be enforced in Hong Kong. The issue we have to consider is whether this is an arguable defence.

5. As a starting point, the parties accept that we should approach the issue on the basis that Taiwan is part of and subject to the sovereignty of China and the government of Taiwan has no legal foundation and Taiwan courts are not recognised by courts in Hong Kong. We have no doubt about these propositions which were in fact the approach adopted by the Court of Appeal in Ku Chia Chun & Ors. v. Ting Lei Miao & Ors. [1998] 3 HKC 119. The parties also accept that at common law there is an exception to these fundamental propositions in that certain acts and orders of an unrecognised government and its courts may still be recognised. This exception as enunciated in the authoritative statement of Lord Wilberforce in Carl Zeiss Stiftung v. Rayner & Keeler Ltd. & Ors. (No.2) [1967] 1 A.C. 853 and cited by Lord Denning M.R. in Hesperides Hotels v. Aegean Turkish Holidays Ltd. [1978] 1QB 205 at 218 is this:

"... where private rights, or acts of everyday occurrence, or perfunctory acts of administration are concerned ... the courts may, in the interests of justice and common sense, where no consideration of public policy to the contrary has to prevail, give recognition to the actual facts or...

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1 cases
  • Woodcraft Corporation And Others v Yang Hsiu Li And Another
    • Hong Kong
    • High Court (Hong Kong)
    • 23 March 2015
    ...common law, if such order or judgment concerns the private rights of the parties privy to it: see CEF New Asia Co Ltd v Wong Kwong Yiu [1999] 3 HKLRD 697, applying Ting Lei Miao v Chen Li Hung & Ors [1999] 1 HKLRD 123 (CA). Ting Lei Miao was subsequently affirmed on appeal to the Court ......

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