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Judiciary suspends hearings, trims operations until Apr 11

05 March 2022


Even the High Court will have only a few cases scheduled until next month

In an unprecedented move, the Judiciary has declared a General Adjournment of Proceedings (GAP), postponing all court hearings and trimming down its operations to the most essential in administering justice, from Monday, Mar 7 to Apr 11.

The month-long slowdown in court services is aimed at preventing the gathering of people amid the surge in coronavirus cases in Hong Kong.

“This GAP will substantially reduce the capacity and business of the courts, hence significantly enhancing social distancing and crowd control in all court premises,” the Judiciary said in a press statement.

It came after weeks of seeing a growing number of litigants asking to adjourn their cases for being “unfit to attend” due to Covid-19.


“The Judiciary has been closely monitoring the public health situation since the outbreak of the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in January,” it said.

During this period, “the capacity and operations at all levels of court will be substantially reduced.…. striking a balance between public  health considerations and due administration of justice,”  it said.

For example, at the magistracies, where majority of court cases are filed, the tasks will be limited to:

             Fresh remand cases.

Pindutin para sa detalye

             Cases with defendants in custody who have the legal rights to appear before a Magistrate to review his/her remand situation (“eight-day cases”).

             Ongoing and part-heard trials as directed by the Court Trials as directed by the Court having regard to the urgency and other circumstances of the case.


             Cases with defendants remanded in custody pending reports as directed by the Court having regard to the circumstances of the case.

             Sentencing cases with defendants remanded in custody as directed by the Court having regard to the circumstances of the case.

Other levels of the court – Court of Final Appeal, Court of Appeal, Court of First Instance, District Court, Family Court, Lands Tribunal, Juvenile Court, Labour Tribunal, Small Claims Tribunal, Coroner’s Court – listed similarly trimmed functions.


At the same time, all existing preventive and crowd management measures will be maintained, including enhanced cleaning and disinfection of public and staff areas and mandatory body temperature check and the wearing of surgical masks within court premises. 

Visitors will continue to be required to use the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile app and to show their vaccine certificates upon entry into Judiciary premises, the announcement said.


Litigants and their lawyers who have Covid-19 symptoms such as fever, or are subject to any quarantine requirement or medical surveillance or compulsory testing while waiting for test results, or who have preliminarily tested positive or tested positive for COVID-19, will also not be allowed to enter.

“They should apply to the court as soon as practicable for permission of absence or inform the court with reasons for absence as appropriate,” it added.
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