Secretary For Justice v Lai Chee Ying

Judgment Date13 April 2022
Neutral Citation[2022] HKCFI 923
Judgement NumberHCMA138/2021
HCMA138A/2021 SECRETARY FOR JUSTICE v. LAI CHEE YING

HCMA 138/2021

[2022] HKCFI 923

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

MAGISTRACY APPEAL NO 138 OF 2021

(ON APPEAL FROM WKCC 956 OF 2020)

_________________

BETWEEN
SECRETARY FOR JUSTICE Appellant

and

LAI CHEE YING Respondent

_________________

Before: Hon Andrew Chan J in Court
Date of Decision: 13 April 2022

________________

D E C I S I O N

________________

1. Following an unsuccessful appeal by way of Case Stated pursuant to s105 of the Magistrates Ordinance Cap. 227 by the Appellant, the Respondent applied for costs.

2. The Respondent was charged with one count of criminal intimidation, contrary to Section 24(a)(i) of the Crimes Ordinance Cap. 200. The trial took place over 4 days from 20 to 28 August 2020 and the Respondent was found not guilty on 3 September 2020. The Appellant appealed against the Magistrate’s decision by way of Case Stated on 17 September 2020.

3. Following the common practice, the Appellant drafted the Case and sought comments from solicitors for the Respondent. In their reply, solicitors for the Respondent indicated that the Case should simply include all the transcripts of the witnesses together with exhibits and the Magistrate’s Brief Reasons for Verdict. One can immediately see that the approach suggested, to say the least, was contrary to legal principles laid down by the Court of Appeal regarding appeal by way of case stated[1].

4. Given the disagreement between the parties, the Case was sent together with the objection from the Respondent to the Magistrate for her consideration. The Magistrate however did not accept the Case and instead prepared one on her own which likewise annexed with it 126 pages of transcripts of evidence, speeches from the respective parties together with her Brief Reasons for Verdict. Not satisfying with the Case prepared by the Magistrate, the Appellant then applied to this Court for an Order of Mandamus directing the Magistrate to amend her Case pursuant to s112 of the Magistrates Ordinance (the Mandamus Application).

5. The Respondent opposed the Mandamus Application. It was heard on 4 June 2021 and an Order for Mandamus was issued. As a result, the Magistrate signed the Case which had become a self-containing document setting out all the...

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