The jurisdiction and constitution of the Court of Final Appeal can be found in the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (click here) and in the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Ordinance (Cap.484) (click here).
Final appeals are heard by the full Court consisting of 5 judges comprising:
If the Chief Justice does not sit in an appeal, a permanent judge will be designated to sit in place of the Chief Justice and to preside at the hearing. In that event, the other 2 permanent judges will sit with an overseas non-permanent judge and also 1 non-permanent Hong Kong judge. Similarly, if a permanent judge is unable to sit, a non-permanent Hong Kong judge will sit in place of that permanent judge.
Overseas non-permanent judges come on a rotational basis for a month at a time. The rotation is an administrative matter determined by the Chief Justice. Similarly, the selection of a non-permanent Hong Kong judge to sit in the full Court or Appeal Committee is an administrative matter determined by the Chief Justice.
Applications for leave to appeal are heard by the Appeal Committee consisting of three members of the Court, namely:
If there is an insufficient number of permanent judges available to sit, a non-permanent Hong Kong judge will be nominated to form the Appeal Committee.
For lists of the Chief Justice, permanent judges and non-permanent judges of the Court, click here .