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Announcement by Judiciary
The following is issued on behalf of the Judiciary:

     The Judiciary announced today (May 14) that in line with the re-opening of court registries and offices in a staggered and progressive manner starting from May 6, registries and accounts offices of the Magistrates' Courts, the Coroner's Court and the Obscene Articles Tribunal will re-open on May 19 (Tuesday), while those of the Small Claims Tribunal and the Labour Tribunal will re-open on May 21 (Thursday).

     The opening hours of the registries and accounts offices will be from 8.45am to 1pm and from 2pm to 5.30pm (Monday to Friday, except public holidays).

     For court users of the Labour Tribunal whose appointment to meet a Tribunal Officer was affected by the closure of the registry, they need not go to the Labour Tribunal upon the re-opening of the registry. They should attend the registry on the date of the rescheduled appointment as communicated to them by post and by telephone.

     The Information Centre of the Small Claims Tribunal will re-open at normal operating hours on May 25 (Monday).

     It is anticipated that in the initial period there will be a significant number of people wishing to do filing and other business at these court registries and accounts offices. While the Judiciary may take measures to increase the capacity of the registries and accounts offices during the initial period and regulate the flow of people, parties and legal representatives are urged not to do filing and other business in the first few days of the re-opening of the registries and accounts offices, unless they are really urgent and must be done in the first few days of re-opening.

Preventive and crowd management measures

     The Judiciary will continue to put in place appropriate preventive and crowd management measures. These measures include requiring all people entering Judiciary premises to undergo body temperature checks and wear face masks, and putting in place necessary queuing, ticketing and triage systems, designated entry and exit points, and admission control to limit the number of court users entering and remaining on Judiciary premises.
     To maintain social distancing, a chessboard seating arrangement will continue to be adopted in courtrooms and court lobbies with seating capacity reduced to half. Broadcasting of proceedings will be arranged on a needs basis. Capacity limits are set for areas such as court registries and accounts offices to avoid crowding.

     Parties, legal representatives and other court users who are subject to any quarantine requirement or medical surveillance should not come to the Judiciary premises. They should as soon as practicable apply to the court for permission of absence or inform the court with reasons for absence as appropriate.

     Information on detailed arrangements will be uploaded onto the Judiciary website. Court users are strongly advised to check the updated information on the Judiciary website, and follow the advice of the Judiciary staff and security personnel when they attend for court business. The co-operation of court users is necessary and is appreciated.

     For general enquiries, the following hotlines are operated from 8.45am to 1pm and from 2pm to 5.30pm (Monday to Friday, except public holidays):
  • General Information: 2869 0869
  • Court of Final Appeal: 2123 0123
  • High Court: 2523 2212
  • Probate: 2840 1683
  • District Court: 2845 5696
  • Family Court: 2840 1218
  • Lands Tribunal: 2771 3034
  • Labour Tribunal: 2625 0020
  • Small Claims Tribunal: 2877 4068
  • Magistrates' Courts: 2677 8373
  • Bailiff Section: 2802 7510
  • Court Language Section: 2388 1364

     The Judiciary will continue to post updated information, including Daily Cause Lists, all arrangements in relation to Judiciary business and advice to court users, on the Judiciary website (www.judiciary.hk). Court users are advised to check the website for updated information as necessary.
Ends/Thursday, May 14, 2020
Issued at HKT 16:00
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