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Additional appointments to Fishermen Claims Appeal Board (Trawl Ban)

     The Government today (June 27) announced the appointment of five additional Chairmen and 16 additional Members to the Fishermen Claims Appeal Board (Trawl Ban) (FCAB).

     Arising from the implementation of the trawl ban as from December 31, 2012, the FCAB was established in November last year to process appeals regarding an ex-gratia allowance (EGA) for affected trawler owners and a one-off grant for local deckhands employed by affected inshore trawler owners. The original FCAB comprises Ms Tennessy Hui Mei-sheung as Chairman, and Miss Nancy Chan, Miss Cindi Hui Ming-ming, Mr William Lee Ka-chung and Dr Paul Shin Kam-shing as Members. Subsequent to the deadline for appeal applications at end of February this year, a total of 852 applications have been received.

     A Government spokesman said, "Given the number of appeal applications received, it has become necessary to expand the FCAB to a pool of six Chairmen and 20 Members. Having a larger pool allows us to increase the number and frequency of hearings, so that the processing of appeal cases could be completed within a reasonable timeframe."

     For the purpose of hearing and determining an appeal, the relevant hearing session(s) will continue to be presided over by one Chairman and will also comprise four Members. With the use of a roster mechanism to share the caseload, the Chairmen and Members will be assigned to take charge of the relevant hearing sessions.

     The five additional Chairmen are Mrs Peggy Cheung Po-yee, Mr Johnny Fee Chung-ming, Mr Ma Ching-nam, Mr Andrew Mak Yip-shing, and Mr Vincent To Wai-keung. The sixteen additional Members are Ms Catherine Au Sin-lun, Mr Chan Wai-chung, Mr Andrew Chan Weng-Yew, Mr Chau How-chen, Professor Chu Ka-hou, Mr James Kong Tze-wing, Miss Athena Kung Ching-yee, Professor Joseph Lai Ki-leuk, Miss Emba Leung Wun-man, Mr Wilkie Lo Wai-kei, Mr Michael Ngai Ming-tak, Miss Alice To Kar-wing, Dr Anthony Tyen Kan-hee, Miss Barbara Wong, Miss Wendy Wong Shuk-wan and Miss Yung Hoi Yan. The appointments have taken effect, and will last until work on all the appeal applications has been completed.

     Mrs Peggy Cheung Po-yee is a lawyer. She is the Chairman of the Appeal Tribunal Panel (Buildings), Member of the Appeal Panel (Housing), Adjudicator of the Registration of Persons Tribunal and Member of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal Panel.

     Mr Johnny Fee Chung-ming is a lawyer. He is the Deputy Chairman of the Appeal Board on Closure Orders (Immediate Health Hazard) and Appeal Board Panel (Town Planning), and Member of the Transport Advisory Committee.

     Mr Ma Ching-nam is a lawyer. He is the Chairman of the Board of Review (Film Censorship), and was a member of the Licensing Appeals Board.

     Mr Andrew Mak Yip-shing is a barrister. He is the Chairman of another Fishermen Claims Appeal Board, and of the Licensing Appeals Board.

     Mr Vincent To Wai-keung is a lawyer. He is the Chairman of the Hong Kong War Memorial Pensions Appeal Board and Member of another Fishermen Claims Appeal Board. He was Chairman of the Appeal Tribunal Panel (Buildings), Deputy Chairman of the Appeal Board on Public Meetings and Processions, and Member of the Appeal Board Panel (Town Planning) and the Board of Review (Inland Revenue Ordinance).

     The composition of the FCAB is as follows:

Mrs Peggy Cheung Po-yee
Mr Johnny Fee Chung-ming
Ms Tennessy Hui Mei-sheung
Mr Ma Ching-nam
Mr Andrew Mak Yip-shing
Mr Vincent To Wai-keung

Ms Catherine Au Sin-lun
Miss Nancy Chan
Mr Chan Wai-chung
Mr Andrew Chan Weng-yew
Mr Chau How-chen
Professor Chu Ka-hou
Miss Cindi Hui Ming-ming
Mr James Kong Tze-wing
Miss Athena Kung Ching-yee
Professor Joseph Lai Ki-leuk
Mr William Lee Ka-chung
Miss Emba Leung Wun-man
Mr Wilkie Lo Wai-kei
Mr Michael Ngai Ming-tak
Dr Paul Shin Kam-shing
Miss Alice To Kar-wing
Dr Anthony Tyen Kan-hee
Miss Barbara Wong
Miss Wendy Wong Shuk-wan
Miss Yung Hoi Yan

     The ban on trawling in Hong Kong waters, under statute, came into operation on December 31, 2012. Under a one-off assistance package approved by the Legislative Council Finance Committee on June 10, 2011, an EGA is payable to eligible trawler owners affected by the trawl ban, and a one-off grant is payable to each eligible local deckhand employed by the affected inshore trawler owners who voluntarily surrender their vessels under a buyout scheme offered by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, or dispose of their vessels through other means.

     An Inter-departmental Working Group (IWG) was set up by the Government to handle matters relating to applications received from parties affected by the trawl ban. The IWG has largely completed its processing of the EGA applications and informed the applicants of its decisions. Some successful applicants have already collected the EGA payments. Applicants who are not satisfied with the decisions of the IWG may lodge appeals to the FCAB, which is a non-statutory body formed on an administrative basis for handling the relevant appeal cases. The secretariat of the FCAB is located at the Food and Health Bureau, 17/F, East Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong.

     The terms of reference of the FCAB are as follows:

     With reference to the EGA and a one-off grant under the one-off assistance package approved by the Finance Committee on June 10, 2011:

* To see that the criteria established by the IWG for processing and/or vetting applications for the EGA comply with the government policy, and are fair and reasonable (in the public law sense) to the applicants.

* To see that the IWG's decisions on eligibility and the amount of EGA granted comply with the government policy and are fair and reasonable (in the public law sense) to the applicants.

* To examine any new or additional information/evidence provided by the appellants (or their representatives) who have lodged an appeal against the IWG's decisions or by the relevant departments, and to consider the relevance of and the weight to be given to such information/evidence.

* To consider whether to uphold the IWG's decisions on the appellants' cases or to revise the decisions, and to determine the type and amount of EGA payable to the appellants, as appropriate.

Ends/Thursday, June 27, 2013
Issued at HKT 14:57


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