Tang Siu Man v Hksar

Cited as:(1997-1998) 1 HKCFAR 4; [1997] HKLRD 1118
Court:Court of Final Appeal (Hong Kong)
Judgement Number:FAMC3/1997
Judgment Date:23 Sep 1997





Application for Leave to Appeal
FAMC No. 3 of 1997


TANG SIU MAN Applicant
HKSAR Respondent


Appeal Committee: Chief Justice Li, Mr Justice Litton PJ and Mr Justice Ching PJ

Date of Hearing: 23 September 1997

Date of Determination: 23 September 1997




Chief Justice Li:

1. This is the determination of the Appeal Committee upon an application for leave to appeal brought under section 32 of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Ordinance ("the Ordinance").

The background

2. On 23 May 1996, the Applicant was convicted after trial before Saied J and a jury of one count of manufacturing a dangerous drug and one count of trafficking in a dangerous drug. On 29 May 1996, he was sentenced to 28 years and 24 years' imprisonment for the respective counts to be served concurrently.

3. He applies to the Court of Appeal for leave to appeal. On 8 July 1996, the Court of Appeal (Power V-P, Mayo JA and Wong J) refused him leave to appeal against conviction. They reduced the sentence on the manufacturing count to 25 years.

4. Upon the Applicant's notice of motion filed on 5 August 1997, the Court of Appeal (Power V-P, Mortimer V-P and Wong J) on 14 August 1997 granted an order, certifying that a point of law of great and general importance is involved in the decision.

5. By notice of motion filed on 23 August 1997, the Applicant applied to this Court for leave to appeal and the grounds in support were set out. At the same time, the Applicant applied to this Court by summons seeking a determination of (i) what is the time limit for an application for leave to appeal to the Court and (ii) if, on such determination, his application is out of time, an extension of time for his application.

The certified point of law

6. The point of law certified by the Court of Appeal was not set out in its order made on 14 August 1997. We find it set out in the grounds in the Applicant's notice of motion filed on 23 August 1997 for leave to appeal to this Court. It is in these terms:

"Whether the trial judge having decided to direct to direct the jury to treat the Applicant as a man of good character in spite of a previous conviction, is then obliged to give a direction on both credibility and propensity?"

7. At the trial, the Applicant gave evidence. The direction given by the judge was in these terms:

"While on this issue of credibility, you will recall that the defendant admitted that he had one previous conviction for Assault occasioning actual bodily harm for which he was placed on probation for a year when he was aged twenty. That conviction appears to have been for a not serious assault and it certainly did not involve dishonesty, it was straight forward simple assault. I expect that you would...

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