Lu Guo Xiang v Hong Kong Ming Wah Shipping Co Ltd

CourtCourt of Appeal (Hong Kong)
Judgment Date22 February 2010
Judgement NumberCACV280/2009
Subject MatterCivil Appeal
CACV000014/2009 LU GUO XIANG v. HONG KONG MING WAH SHIPPING CO LTD

CACV 14/2009 AND CACV 280/2009

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF APPEAL

CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 14 OF 2009 AND 280 OF 2009

(ON APPEAL FROM HCPI NO. 254 OF 2006)

__________________________

BETWEEN

LU GUO XIANG (陸國祥) Plaintiff
and
HONG KONG MING WAH SHIPPING
COMPANY LIMITED
(香港明華船務有限公司)
Defendant

__________________________

Before: Hon Rogers Acting CJHC in Chambers

Date of Hearing: 22 February 2010

Date of Decision: 22 February 2010

__________________________

D E C I S I O N

__________________________

1. On this occasion, it has been the court which has called for a directions hearing. The reason the court has called for that is that these are now two appeals which will be heard together. The first appeal is from a decision early last year and the appeal was fixed in July. It is quite clear that there are appeals not only as to whether time limits should have been extended for bringing the case but also on liability.

2. There is a transcript which is in Chinese and there are, apparently, many Chinese documents. It was quite clear that the Defendant/Appellant’s preference would be that those should not need to be translated, which is a reasonable course, but no application was made for a bilingual Bench when the matter was set down. The Appellant then appears to have been vacillating as to what course it would take and, as late as 18 February, they wrote a letter to the court which makes clear that there are a number of documents which will need translating if the appeal is to be heard by a monolingual Bench. They say:

“Subsequent to our receipt of your said letter, we have corresponded further with the Plaintiff’s solicitors, Messrs Siao, Wen & Leung, to seek their consent to have the two appeals consolidated and re-fixed before a bilingual Bench.”

Then, in the penultimate paragraph of the letter, they say:

“Given the Plaintiff’s stance, however, the Defendant will not pursue an application to have the hearing of the appeals, fixed for 27 to 29 April, re-fixed. If, however, a bilingual Bench should subsequently become available to hear the appeals on those dates, we would respectfully ask the court to consider allowing the appeals to be heard before a bilingual Bench. In the circumstances, we believe it is not necessary to trouble his Lordship...

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