Skip to main content

Attention: This overview is issued by the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal for general reference only and should not be regarded as a complete or authoritative statement of law or practice of the Appeal Tribunal. It is not intended to provide any legal or other professional advice. The Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal shall not be held responsible for any error or omission in the contents of this overview. If you require advice on the law or practice of the Appeal Tribunal, you should consult your lawyers or any other persons who are qualified to give the advice you required.

An electronic database of the Buildings Ordinance and its regulations is available on the Internet at http://www.elegislation.gov.hk/. A copy of the Buildings Ordinance and its regulations is also available for public reference in Hong Kong public libraries. For details, please consult the Hong Kong public libraries.

Pamphlet of the Appeal Tribunal, Buildings Ordinance

Overview

This overview is issued by the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal for general reference of readers who are interested in the operation of the Appeal Tribunal, including those who intend to lodge appeal pursuant to Part VI of the Buildings Ordinance, Chapter 123 of the Laws of Hong Kong (“the Ordinance”).

The Appeal Tribunal (Buildings) (“the Appeal Tribunal”) is a tribunal constituted under section 48 of the Ordinance for the purpose of hearing and determining an appeal. The Appeal Tribunal shall consist of a Chairman and not less than 2 members. It is an independent establishment, is not subject to the control of the Building Authority, and does not generally supervise the Building Authority in the performance of his duties and other functions under the Ordinance.

An appeal to the Appeal Tribunal IS

Reference Information on General Procedures of Appeal

A Simple Flowchart for General Appeal Procedures as illustrated by the
Building Authority’s decision to issue an Order/Notice under the Ordinance

Building Authority issues an Order / Notice

A person aggrieved by the Order / Notice decides to appeal and serves a notice of appeal on the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal and the Building Authority within 21 days of the date the Order / Notice is issued

Appellant furnishes a Statement of Particulars to the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal and the Building Authority within 28 days of the date notice of appeal is given

Building Authority furnishes its representations and documents to the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal and the Appellant within 28 days of receiving the Appellant's Statement of Particulars

Preliminary / Full Hearings and determination of the appeal and costs (if any) by the Appeal Tribunal

Notice of Appeal

Download Notice of Appeal Form

Section 44 of the Ordinance stipulates that a person aggrieved by any decision made by the Building Authority in the exercise of a discretion conferred on him under the Ordinance may, except where the Ordinance provides otherwise, appeal from that decision in accordance with Part VI of the Ordinance and regulations made under section 38(1B) of the Ordinance.

Section 47 of the Ordinance stipulates that a person exercising the right of appeal conferred by section 44 shall give notice of appeal in the prescribed manner, appealing from the relevant decision, to the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal, to be received by him not later than 21 days after the date notification of the decision is sent to him.

Section 3 of the Regulation stipulates that a notice of appeal for the purposes of section 47 of the Ordinance shall be in writing and served on the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal. The aforesaid section 3 further stipulates that the Appellant shall serve a copy of the notice of appeal on the Building Authority within the period specified in section 47 of the Ordinance for giving notice of appeal.

A notice of appeal may be served on the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal by sending it to him in the following prescribed manner:-

  1. (i)registered or ordinary mail addressed to him at his office; or
  2. (ii)facsimile transmission; or
  3. (iii)serving it personally on him.

In general, a notice of appeal shall contain information on the following:-

  1. the Building Authority’s decision/order/notice against which the appeal is made, such as the order/notice number, date of the decision/order/notice, Buildings Department’s reference, etc.;
  2. particulars of the property/land to which the Building Authority’s decision/order/notice relates;
  3. the Appellant's personal particulars, such as name, Identity Card (ID) number, correspondence address, telephone number (including residential / office / mobile), fax number (if applicable), etc.; and
  4. the Appellant’s signature, company seal (if applicable), etc.

It may also be preferable to mark on the top of the notice of appeal with the words ‘Notice of Appeal’, which may facilitate the easy identification by the parties to the appeal. In general, the notice of appeal (and all appeal documents) should be personally signed by the Appellant or by the Appellant’s authorized representative.

Statement of Particulars

Section 4(1) of the Regulation stipulates that the Appellant shall, within 28 days beginning on the date notice of appeal is given or, where appropriate, within the extended period, furnish to the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal a statement containing:-

  1. the particulars of the decision to which the appeal relates;
  2. the grounds of appeal if they have not been specified in the notice of appeal;
  3. a detailed description of the matter to which the appeal relates;
  4. a description of each document the Appellant intends to produce at the hearing;
  5. where relevant, the address and description of any property or land to which the appeal relates and a statement of the interest of the Appellant in that property or land; and
  6. the particulars of the witnesses the Appellant intends to call on his behalf at the hearing.

Section 4(2) of the Regulation further stipulates that the Appellant shall serve a copy of the statement on the Building Authority within the aforesaid period or extended period, as may be appropriate. In submitting the aforementioned notice of appeal, the Appellant may also furnish the statement to the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal together with the notice of appeal. It may also be preferable to mark on the top of the statement with the words ‘Statement of Particulars’, which may facilitate the easy identification by the parties to the appeal.

Representations and Documents

Section 5(a) of the Regulation stipulates that the Building Authority shall within 28 days beginning on the date of receiving a copy of the Appellant’s statement of particulars or, where appropriate, within the extended period, furnish to the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal representations in writing and documents (if any) in the possession or custody of the Building Authority, which the Building Authority considers would assist the Appeal Tribunal to determine or otherwise dispose of the appeal. Section 5(b) of the Regulation further stipulates that within the aforesaid period or extended period, as may be appropriate, the Building Authority shall serve a copy of the representations and a copy each of any document furnished aforesaid on the Appellant.

Request for Further Particulars

Section 6(2) of the Regulation stipulates that the Building Authority may, by serving a notice within 14 days or, where appropriate, within the extended period, beginning on the date a copy of the statement is served on him under section 4(2) of the Regulation; and the Appellant may, by serving a notice within 14 days or, where appropriate, within the extended period, beginning on the date a copy of the representations is served on him under section 5(b) of the Regulation, request the other party to furnish further particulars on any matter relevant to the appeal, and to make available to him for inspection any document which he considers relevant to the appeal and which is in the custody, control or possession of that party or to furnish a copy of any such document.

Section 6(3) of the Regulation also stipulates that a party of whom a request is made shall, within 14 days beginning on the date of the relevant notice is served or within the extended period, as may be appropriate, comply with such request unless the Appeal Tribunal is satisfied that the request was unreasonable or that reasonable grounds exist for not complying with it.

Section 6(4) of the Regulation further stipulates that a party who furnishes any particulars or a copy of a document shall, within the period referred to in section 6(3) or within the extended period, as may be appropriate, furnish a copy of the particulars or a copy of such document or, where appropriate, both, to the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal.

Extension of Time Limits

Section 13(1) of the Regulation stipulates that the Appeal Tribunal may upon application by a party extend, as regards the case to which the application relates, any time limit specified in section 4(1), 5(a) or 6(2) or (3) of the Regulation, if it considers it appropriate to do so. Section 13(2) of the Regulation further stipulates that the power of the Appeal Tribunal under section 13(1) may be exercised by its Chairman.

Hearing

Section 9 of the Regulation stipulates that hearing of an appeal shall be held in public unless the Appeal Tribunal directs otherwise after consulting the parties to the appeal.

Pursuant to section 49 of the Ordinance, the Appeal Tribunal may, in any case where it considers it appropriate to do so, hold a preliminary hearing to determine whether good cause has been shown for holding a full hearing. If the Appeal Tribunal determines that good cause has not been shown for holding a full hearing it shall dismiss the appeal but shall otherwise hold a full hearing.

Section 7 of the Regulation stipulates that not less than 21 days before the date fixed for a preliminary/full hearing the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal shall notify each party, in writing, of the date and time fixed for the preliminary/full hearing and the place at which it will take place.

Pursuant to section 52 of the Ordinance, as regards appearance before the Appeal Tribunal at a preliminary/full hearing of an appeal, a party to the appeal may be present and make representations, and may be represented either by counsel or a solicitor, or with the approval of the Chairman of the Appeal Tribunal, by any other person authorized for the purpose by the party concerned in writing. The Building Authority may be represented by a legal officer within the meaning of the Legal Officers Ordinance, Chapter 87 of the Laws of Hong Kong.

Determination of Appeal

Section 50 of the Ordinance provides that (a) every question shall be determined by the opinion of the majority of the members of the Appeal Tribunal; and (b) where there is an equality of votes the Chairman shall have a casting vote.

For the purpose of determining an appeal, the Appeal Tribunal is empowered to -

  1. (i)receive and consider any oral, documentary or other evidence, (including any written statement), whether on oath, affirmation or otherwise, and whether or not it would be admissible in evidence in proceedings in a court;
  2. (ii)by summons issued in the prescribed manner, require any person to attend before it at any hearing to give evidence or to produce any document;
  3. (iii)administer oaths or affirmations;
  4. (iv)examine on oath, affirmation or otherwise any person attending before it and require such person to answer any question put by or with the consent of the Appeal Tribunal.

In determining an appeal, the Appeal Tribunal may make an order confirming, varying or reversing the decision that is appealed against or substituting therefor such other decision or make such other order as the Appeal Tribunal thinks fit.

Costs

Pursuant to section 51 of the Ordinance, upon dismissal or determination of an appeal, the Appeal Tribunal may make such order as to costs as it thinks fit. The Appeal Tribunal may order the Appellant or the Respondent (i.e. the Building Authority) to bear the costs of the other party to the appeal. In general, such costs may include the fees of counsel, solicitor and other professionals who represented the other party to the appeal, expenses and other charges incurred by that other party, etc.

Service of Documents

Section 14 of the Regulation stipulates that the service of notice (other than notice of appeal), statement, order, summons, particulars in writing or other documents -

  1. (a)on the Appeal Tribunal (or the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal) and the Building Authority shall be effected by serving it or them personally or by sending by registered post addressed to the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal and the Building Authority at their respective offices; and
  2. (b)on an appellant or any other person - (i) who is an individual, shall be effected by serving it or them personally or by sending by registered post addressed to him at his last known place of residence; and (ii) who is not an individual, shall be effected by sending it or them by registered post to its registered address or last known place of business.

To ensure that notice, statement, order, summons, particulars in writing and other documents which are required to be served for the purposes of an appeal can be dispatched to an appellant timely and effectively, the Appellant should inform the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal and the Building Authority of any change to his address for service as soon as possible.

Withdrawal of Appeal

Download Notice of Withdrawal of Appeal

Section 10 of the Regulation provides that the Appellant may withdraw his appeal or abandon any part of it by giving notice in writing to the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal. After giving notice to withdraw his appeal, the Appellant shall serve a copy of the notice on the Building Authority as soon as practicable.

Contacts

Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal

Address : 17/F, West Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar,
Hong Kong
Telephone number : 3509 7800
Fax number : 2189 7334

Note : The contacts provided are for matters that are related to appeal to the Appeal Tribunal. The Appeal Tribunal is NOT the Building Authority. It is generally NOT the function of the Appeal Tribunal to handle complaints, enquiries or negotiations regarding the Building Authority; nor to provide advisory, mediation, mitigation or investigation services to the Appellant. For enquiries with the Building Authority on other matters, one should communicate with the Building Authority (Buildings Department / Housing Department) directly.

Building Authority (Buildings Department and the Independent Checking Unit of Housing Department)

Buildings Department

Address : 12/F, Pioneer Centre, 750 Nathan Road, Mongkok, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Telephone number : 2626 1616
Fax number : 2537 4992

The Independent Checking Unit of Housing Department

Address : 8/F, Lung Cheung Office Block, 138 Lung Cheung Road, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Telephone number : 3162 0597
Fax number : 3162 0069

Issued by the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal