Skip to main content

General Information

This information note is intended for general reference only. Readers of the information note are advised to refer to the relevant provisions of the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance (Cap. 563) ("the Ordinance"). Any enquiry on the information note should be made to the Secretary to the Appeal Board panel at 17/F, West Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong (Tel.: 3509 8875).

Introduction

The Appeal Board Panel ("the Appeal Board panel") is an independent statutory body established under section 27 of the Ordinance. Members of the Appeal Board panel, when nominated, will sit as members of an Appeal Board to hear an appeal under section 28 of the Ordinance.

The Appeal Board Panel

There are at present 15 panel members in the Appeal Board panel including one Chairman and two Deputy Chairmen. All panel members are appointed by the Chief Executive.

Function and Procedures

Lodging of an appeal

  • An objector to a development project who is aggrieved by a decision of the Secretary for Development under section 24(4)(a) or (7) ("the appellant") may appeal by lodging a notice of appeal with the Secretary to the Appeal Board panel, with a copy to the Secretary for Development, within 30 days after notification of the Secretary for Development's decision under section 24(9).
  • The notice of appeal shall be submitted by hand or by registered mail to the Secretary to the Appeal Board panel, 17/F, West Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong.

Nomination of an Appeal Board

  • On receipt of a notice of appeal, the Chairman of the Appeal Board panel shall nominate an Appeal Board to hear the appeal. The Appeal Board shall be constituted by the Chairman or the Deputy Chairman and four other members of the Appeal Board panel. The Chairman or the Deputy Chairman of the Appeal Board panel shall also act as the Chairman of the Appeal Board.
  • At least 3 members, one of whom must be the Chairman of the Appeal Board, shall be present to hear and determine an appeal. A majority of the members hearing the appeal shall determine questions before it. Where there is an equality of votes in respect of any question to be determined in an appeal, the Chairman of the Appeal Board shall have a casting vote in addition to his original vote.

Notice of Hearing

  • The Secretary to the Appeal Board panel shall fix a date, time and place for the hearing of the appeal, which shall be a date not sooner than 30 days but not more than 60 days of receipt of the notice of appeal, and shall give at least 14 days' notice thereof to the appellant and the Secretary for Development.

Statements, Documents, etc. to be Lodged before Hearing

  • Not less than 7 days prior to the date set for the hearing of an appeal, the appellant and the Secretary for Development shall -
    1. lodge with the Secretary to the Appeal Board panel seven (7) copies of witness statements, documents and any other thing to be given or produced in evidence at the hearing of the appeal; and
    2. serve on each other a copy of witness statements and documents and shall give details of any other thing lodged with the Secretary to the Appeal Board panel under the above paragraph.

Hearing of the Appeal

Abandonment and Failure to Appear
  • An appellant may abandon the whole or any part of his appeal before the date set for hearing or any adjourned date by giving the Secretary to the Appeal Board panel and the Secretary for Development not less than 7 days' notice in writing of his intention to abandon the whole or part of the appeal.
  • If a party or his authorized representative fails to appear on a date set for the hearing of an appeal, the Appeal Board may -
    1. if it is satisfied that the failure to appear is due to reasonable cause, adjourn the hearing to a date, time and place that it thinks fit;
    2. proceed to hear the appeal; or
    3. dismiss the appeal, if the person who fails to appear is the appellant or the appellant's authorized representative.
Proceedings of a Hearing
  • Hearing of an appeal shall be held in public.
  • An appellant may choose to give an unsworn statement at a hearing or to give evidence on oath. The appellant will not normally be cross-examined if the former option is adopted. Generally speaking, the Appeal Board will attach greater weight to evidence tested by the process of cross-examination.
    1. If an appellant chooses NOT to give evidence on oath or call witness-
      • The appellant will be the first one to start and put forth his grounds for appeal, calling attention to the written material before the Appeal Board.
      • The appellant may put in written materials as evidence if the Appeal Board so permits.
      • After the appellant finishes his submission, the Secretary for Development or his authorized representative will call their witnesses to give evidence.
      • At the end of each witness's evidence, the appellant will be given the opportunity to cross-examine the witness (i.e. put questions to him). After that, the Secretary for Development or his authorized representative will be given the chance to re-examine the witness concerned, if necessary.
      • After giving of evidence by witnesses, the Secretary for Development or his authorized representative will give final submission. The appellant will have the right of reply.
    2. If an appellant chooses to give evidence on oath and call witness-
      • The appellant will again be the first one to start. He may choose to open his case prior to giving/calling evidence.
      • If an appellant decides to start by giving evidence himself, he will first be sworn/affirmed. At the end of the evidence, the Secretary for Development or his authorized representative will have the opportunity to cross-examine the appellant.
      • After the appellant concludes his evidence, he may call his witnesses and ask them questions. When an appellant has concluded his questioning, the Secretary for Development or his authorized representative will have the opportunity to cross-examine the appellant's witnesses. After that, the appellant may re-examine his witnesses on any matter arising out of the cross-examination.
      • The appellant may put in written materials as evidence if the Appeal Board so permits.
      • After an appellant has called all his witnesses, the Secretary for Development or his authorized representative will call theirs. The appellant may cross-examine the Secretary for Development's witnesses at the end of the examination-in-chief.
      • After giving of evidence by witnesses, the Secretary for Development or his authorized representative will give final submission. The appellant will have the right of reply.
At the Completion of a Hearing
  • At the completion of a hearing, the Appeal Board may-
    1. confirm, reverse or vary the decision appealed against; and
    2. order any party to the appeal to pay the costs and expenses incurred by the Appeal Board in hearing and determining the appeal.

Delivery of Appeal Board Decisions

  • After hearing an appeal, the Chairman of the Appeal Board shall deliver the decision of the Appeal Board in written form.

Issued by the Appeal Board panel under the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance
(Updated on 1 July 2016)