Judicial review

Our Firm took part in numerous important cases concerning the development of the administrative law of Hong Kong, including representing Wong Chi Fung Joshua to review the decision of the Registrar of Companies, and representing Ms. Lau Siu Lai as an interested party in an application by the then Chief Executive to disqualify four legislators.

Judicial review is a procedure by which the Court of First Instance of the High Court exercises its supervisory jurisdiction over the activities of administrative bodies (i.e. government departments and those public bodies which were set up according to certain ordinances) and inferior courts.

The decision susceptible to review must affect public interest. If the subject decision only undermines your own interest, or it is only a personal dispute between you and the decision-maker, the Court will reject your application.

Judicial review proceedings must be brought promptly and within 3 months of the date when grounds for the application first arose.

An application for judicial review is by way of a two-stage process. The applicant must first obtain leave from the Court of First Instance to bring an application for judicial review.

A judicial review is normally brought to the Court on the following grounds:

  • The decision subject to review was made by a person who does not have the relevant statutory authority;
  • The decision was made under an improper or incorrect procedure;
  • The decision was unreasonably made (For example, the decision-maker failed to take into account a relevant matter when making the decision).

Selected cases

  • Wong Chi Fung v Registrar of Companies HCAL 657/2018
  • Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Another v. President of the Legislative Council; HCAL 225/2016, Reported in: [2017] 4 HKLRD 115 (Disqualification of legislators, representing interested party Lau Siu Lai)
  • Law Mei Mei v. The Airport Authority Hong Kong ands Another, HCAL 117/2016, (Application for leave to judicial review concerning the luggage sage involving CY Leung’s daughter)