Master of One's Own Court
Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 34, No. 1, p. 47, 2004
Posted: 29 Aug 2006
The Court of Final Appeal (CFA) recently confirmed its jurisdiction to hear an appeal by a solicitor from the judgment of the Court of Appeal (CA) in regard to an order by a disciplinary tribunal. The CFA held that the legislation which provided finality of CA rulings over a tribunal's order was not part of the laws of Hong Kong on 1 July 1997 and was inconsistent with the Basic Law and thus unconstitutional and invalid. It is here argued that the CFA has, as in the first Ng Ka Ling right of abode judgment asserted itself unnecessarily. The assertion by the CFA of its power to review legislative restrictions on its jurisdiction, but in the language of constitutionality, raises questions which might well be of concern to the other branches of the Hong Kong government or to the Central Authorities. The extent to which the CFA is the "master of its own court" may not yet be finally determined.
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