The Registrar is appointed by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and is in charge of the Registry of the Court of Final Appeal.
The current Registrar is His Honour Judge WONG King Wah.
The Registrar carries out his judicial and administrative duties set out in the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Ordinance, its subsidiary Rules and Practice Directions. His work is wide-ranging covering all procedural steps that need to be taken in the appeal process prior to the formal hearing before the Court, the Appeal Committee or a single permanent Judge. A brief overview of the work of the Registrar is given below.
For every leave application filed with the Registry, the Registrar will first consider whether on face of the application, there is any reasonable arguable ground of appeal. If yes, the application will be listed for an oral hearing before the Appeal Committee. If not, a summons will be issued to the Applicant to show cause on papers before the Appeal Committee why the application will not be dismissed. The Appeal Committee may, after considering the matter, order that the application be dismissed without a hearing or give such other directions as the justice of the case may require.
While most of the procedural steps for a leave application or a substantial appeal are provided under the Rules, in appropriate cases, the Registrar will give suitable procedural directions taking into account of the special circumstances of the case. Most often, the directions will be given in writing. There are cases which may warrant directions to be given orally at a hearing. For example, in substantive appeal cases where one or both of parties are not legally represented, the Registrar will hold directions hearings. He will explain to them the procedural steps that have to be taken for preparation of their case and will ensure that such procedural directions will be complied with.
The Registrar has to conduct taxation of costs pursuant to orders given by the Court. Such taxation can be dealt with on papers or by way of the oral hearing.
Administratively, the Registrar oversees all aspects of the work of the Registry including handling complaints made against the Registry and its staff. He assists the Chief Justice in listing cases and liaising with non-permanent Hong Kong judges and judges from other common law jurisdictions to sit in appeal cases. He also serves as a member and the secretary of the Court of Final Appeal Rules Committee.