Court Cases

Read HKSAR v Special View Ltd (2018) 21 HKCFAR 562 which can be found in the Westlaw Asia website of our library database in which there is a summary of what the court said (as for how to find court cases from the website, see course materials topic 1).

In this case, a company was convicted of causing or permitting a raft to remain in a fish culture zone without having a valid license contrary to section 13(2) of the Marine Fish Culture Ordinance (Cap 353 of the Laws of Hong Kong). The company did not apply for renewal of the license to culture marine fish by the deadline specified in the license for making a renewal of license application. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of the Hong Kong SAR government subsequently cancelled the license before its expiry. The company then appealed against the cancellation decision of the government. The appeal was made within the statutory period allowed for making appeals against cancellation decisions but after the license had expired. The issue was whether the company committed the offence when the relevant raft remained in the fish culture zone during the appeal period but after the license had expired.

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Discuss, in your own words, why the Court of Final Appeal decided that the company had committed the said offence.  Did the Court of Final Appeal adopt the literal rule or the purposive rule of statutory interpretation (or, both approaches) in arriving at this decision?

For more on statutory interpretation in Hong Kong, read Medical Council of Hong Kong v Chow Siu Shek (2000) 3 HKCFAR 144 (p.152 – the beginning lines of p.154 before the discussion on The provisions to be interpreted in the present case’) and Town Planning Board v Society for the Protection of the Harbour Ltd [2004] 1 HKLRD 396 (paras.28-29) (both cases can be found in the Westlaw Asia website).



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