Jury Ordinance


Published: 1997-06-30

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Cap 3 - JURY ORDINANCE 1

Chapter: 3 JURY ORDINANCE Gazette Number Version Date

Long title 30/06/1997


To amend and consolidate the law relating to jurors.


[1 June 1887]

(Originally 18 of 1887 (Cap 3, 1950))

Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997


This Ordinance may be cited as the Jury Ordinance.
(Amended 5 of 1924 s. 6)


Section: 2 Interpretation 21 of 1999 11/06/1999


In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-
"Commissioner" (處長) has the same meaning as in the Registration of Persons Ordinance (Cap 177); (Replaced 37

of 1988 s. 2)
"court" (法庭) means the Court of First Instance; (Amended 25 of 1998 s. 2)
"proceedings" (法律程序) means proceedings at a trial in the court or at an inquest under the Coroners Ordinance

(Cap 504); (Added 72 of 1997 s. 2. Amended 21 of 1999 s. 21)
"Registrar" (司法常務官) means the Registrar of the High Court. (Amended 25 of 1998 s. 2)

(Added 5 of 1924 Schedule)

Section: 3 Number of jurors on trial 30/06/1997


In all civil and criminal trials and in all inquiries into the idiocy, lunacy, or unsoundness of mind of any person,
the jury, if any, shall consist of 7 persons except where the court or the judge before whom any such trial or inquiry is
or may be heard, orders that the jury shall consist of 9 persons.

(Amended 37 of 1947 s. 2; 3 of 1986 s. 2)

Section: 4 Qualifications and disabilities 21 of 1999 11/06/1999


(1) A person who has reached 21 years of age, but not 65 years of age, and is a resident of Hong Kong is,
except as provided by this Ordinance, liable to serve as a juror in the proceedings in the court or in an inquest under
the Coroners Ordinance (Cap 504) if (but only if)- (Amended 21 of 1999 s. 22)

(a) the person is of sound mind and not afflicted by blindness, deafness or other disability preventing the
person from serving as a juror; and

(b) the person is of good character; and
(c) the person has a sufficient knowledge of the language in which the proceedings are to be conducted to

be able to understand the proceedings.
(2) In a trial before a jury, the court or a coroner may, on the court or the coroner's own motion or on the

application of the Registrar or of any interested party, discharge any person summoned to serve as a juror who is
unable to satisfy the court or the coroner that the person's knowledge of the language in which the proceedings are to
be conducted is sufficient to enable the person to understand the proceedings.

(Replaced 72 of 1997 s. 3)

Section: 4A Supply of information 30/06/1997


(1) The Registrar or the Commissioner may, by notice in writing, require any person specified in the notice
who possesses that information, to supply him, in such manner and within such time as may be so specified, with-



Cap 3 - JURY ORDINANCE 2

(a) the name and the number of the identity card of any person who has obtained a grade of pass in an
English language examination or a Chinese language examination or part of such an examination as
may be so specified; (Replaced 72 of 1997 s. 4)

(b) such information as the Registrar or the Commissioner considers necessary to enable the Registrar or
the Commissioner to determine whether any person has a sufficient knowledge of the language in
which the proceedings are to be conducted to be able to understand the relevant proceedings.
(Replaced 72 of 1997 s. 4)

(2) Notice under subsection (1) may be given to the person in question by-
(a) delivering it to him;
(b) leaving it at his last known address; or
(c) sending it by post to his last known postal address.

(3) Any person who-
(a) without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with a requirement under subsection (1); or
(b) in purported compliance with any such requirement, knowingly supplies any information which is

false in a material particular,
shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of $5000 and to imprisonment for 3 months.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (1)(a)-
(a) an English language examination means an examination of English language or an examination

conducted in the English language; and
(b) a Chinese language examination means an examination of Chinese language or an examination

conducted in the Chinese language. (Added 72 of 1997 s. 4)
(Added 64 of 1984 s. 3)


Section: 5 Exemptions from service 10 of 2005 08/07/2005


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 2 of 2012 s. 3


(1) The following persons shall be exempt from service as jurors- (Amended 51 of 1911; 63 of 1911 Schedule;
28 of 1962 s. 3; 28 of 2000 s. 47)

(a) members of the Executive or Legislative Council; (Replaced 8 of 1912 s. 29. Amended 67 of 1987 s.
2)

(aa) (Repealed 78 of 1999 s. 7)
(ab) justices of the peace; (Added 64 of 1984 s. 4)
(b) any public officer who is-

(i) a judge, deputy judge, District Judge, deputy District Judge, Registrar, Senior Deputy Registrar,
Deputy Registrar, Assistant Registrar, coroner or magistrate; (Amended 10 of 2005 s. 163)

(ii) a presiding officer, adjudicator or member of any tribunal established by law;
(iii) an officer or member of the staff of any court or tribunal established by law, if his work is mainly

concerned with the day to day administration of the court or tribunal;
(iv) a legal officer within the meaning of section 2 of the Legal Officers Ordinance (Cap 87);

(Replaced 8 of 1993 s. 5)
(v) serving in the Department of Justice, the Legal Aid Department, the Official Receiver's Office or

the Intellectual Property Department; (Amended 39 of 1992 s. 7; 60 of 1992 s. 2; 8 of 1993 s. 5;
L.N. 362 of 1997)

(vi) a member of the Hong Kong Police Force, the Immigration Service, the Customs and Excise
Service or the Fire Services Department, including a person holding any post specified in the
Seventh Schedule to the Fire Services Ordinance (Cap 95); (Amended L.N. 362 of 1997)

(vii) an officer of the Correctional Services Department;
(viii) a member of the Government Flying Service; (Replaced 54 of 1992 s. 19)
(ix) the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner or an officer of the Independent Commission Against

Corruption;
(x) carrying out duties in the Hong Kong Police Force, the Immigration Department, the Customs

and Excise Department, the Fire Services Department, the Correctional Services Department, the
Government Flying Service or the Independent Commission Against Corruption; (Amended 1 of



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1997 s. 7; L.N. 362 of 1997)
(xi) serving in a training or apprentice rank; (Replaced 64 of 1984 s. 4)
(xii) appointed as the principal probation officer, or as a probation officer, under the Probation of

Offenders Ordinance (Cap 298); or (Added 37 of 1988 s. 3)
(xiii) a social worker employed full-time in any reformatory school established under the Reformatory

Schools Ordinance (Cap 225), any place of detention appointed under the Juvenile Offenders
Ordinance (Cap 226), or any approved institution within the meaning of the Probation of
Offenders Ordinance (Cap 298); (Added 37 of 1988 s. 3)

(c) consuls, vice-consuls, and officers of equivalent status, of governments of foreign states and such
salaried functionaries of such governments as are nationals of such governments and are not carrying
on business in Hong Kong, and the spouses and dependent children of such persons; (Replaced 6 of
1955 s. 2. Amended 39 of 1960 s. 3; 37 of 1988 s. 13; 23 of 1998 s. 2)

(d) barristers-at-law and solicitors in actual practice, and their clerks;
(e) persons duly registered as or deemed to be medical practitioners under the Medical Registration

Ordinance (Cap 161), persons duly registered as dentists under the Dentists Registration Ordinance
(Cap 156) and persons duly registered under the Veterinary Surgeons Registration Ordinance (Cap
529); (Replaced 31 of 1936 s. 2. Amended 1 of 1940 s. 28; 96 of 1997 s. 31)

(f) editors of daily newspapers in Hong Kong and such members of their staffs in respect of whom the
Registrar is satisfied that jury service would disrupt the publication of such newspapers; (Replaced 6
of 1955 s. 2. Amended 37 of 1988 s. 13)

(g) chemists and druggists actually carrying on business as such;
(h) clergymen, priests, and ministers of any Christian congregation or Jewish congregation, functioning in

Hong Kong; (Amended 20 of 1948 s. 4; 37 of 1988 s. 13)
(ha) imams of and persons holding similar positions in any Muslim congregation functioning in Hong

Kong; (Added 72 of 1997 s. 5)
(hb) priests of and persons holding similar positions in any Hindu congregation functioning in Hong Kong;

(Added 72 of 1997 s. 5)
(i) full time students of any school, college, university, polytechnic, technical institute, industrial training

centre or other educational (including vocational education) institution; (Replaced 64 of 1984 s. 4)
(j) members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army; (Replaced 2 of 2012 s. 3)
(k) pilots licensed under the Pilotage Ordinance (Cap 84), and the master and members of the crew of any

ship; (Replaced 28 of 1962 s. 3)
(l) pilots, navigators, wireless operators and other full-time members of the crews of passenger or mail or

commercial aircraft; (Replaced 6 of 1955 s. 2)
(m) members of the Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force and persons summoned to act or enrolled or

appointed as special constables under any enactment: (Amended 29 of 1969 s. 2; L.N. 362 of 1997)
Provided that any person claiming exemption under this paragraph may be required by the Registrar to

produce a certificate from the Commissioner of Police in proof of such exemption; (Replaced 2 of
1959 Second Schedule)

(n) persons who are vowed and full-time members of any religious orders living in monasteries, convents
or other such religious communities; (Added 6 of 1955 s. 2. Amended 64 of 1984 s. 4)

(o) the spouse of-
(i) the Chief Justice;
(ia) a judge of the Court of Final Appeal; (Added 79 of 1995 s. 50)
(ib) the Chief Judge; (Added 26 of 1999 s. 3)
(ii) a Justice of Appeal;
(iii) a judge of the Court of First Instance; and (Amended 25 of 1998 s. 2)
(iv) a coroner; (Replaced 72 of 1997 s. 5)

(p) spouses of members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army; (Added 39 of 1960 s. 3. Amended 28
of 1962 s. 3; 72 of 1997 s. 5; 2 of 2012 s. 3)

(q) (Repealed 25 of 1998 s. 2)
(r) the Legal Adviser of the Legislative Council Secretariat and any of his assistants who is in the full time

employment of the Legislative Council Commission and is a barrister or a solicitor as defined in the
Legal Practitioners Ordinance (Cap 159). (Added 72 of 1997 s. 5)

(2) In this section-



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(a) reference to Registrar includes reference to the Registrar of the District Court;
(aa) "Senior Deputy Registrar" (高級副司法常務官) means Senior Deputy Registrar of the High Court;

(Added 10 of 2005 s. 163)
(b) "Deputy Registrar" (副司法常務官) means Deputy Registrar of the High Court or of the District

Court;
(c) "Assistant Registrar" (助理司法常務官) means Assistant Registrar of the High Court or of the

District Court. (Added 28 of 2000 s. 47)

Section: 6 Want of qualification to be ground of challenge but not of

avoiding trial
30/06/1997



If any person is summoned as a juror who is not qualified or liable to serve as a juror, or is exempt from service,
such want of qualification or exemption shall be a good cause of challenge and the person so summoned shall be
discharged on such challenge or on his own application, if the court is satisfied of the fact and so directs; but no such
want of qualification or exemption, if not submitted to the court before such person is sworn, shall afterwards be
accepted as a ground for impeaching any verdict given by the jury on which such person has served.

(Amended 50 of 1911; 51 of 1911; 62 of 1911 Schedule; 63 of 1911 Schedule; 13 of 1995 s. 4)

Section: 7 Provisional list of jurors 30/06/1997


(1) As soon as it appears to the Commissioner that any person is-
(a) qualified to serve as a juror under section 4; and
(b) not exempt from service as a juror under section 5,

he shall cause to be served on such person a notice in the form of Form 2 in the Schedule. (Replaced 28 of 1962 s. 4)
(2) If any person upon whom a notice has been served in accordance with subsection (1) considers that he-

(a) does not qualify to serve as a juror under section 4; or
(b) is exempt from service as a juror under section 5,

he shall within 14 days after service upon him of such notice, notify the Registrar in writing to that effect stating the
grounds upon which he claims exemption. (Replaced 28 of 1962 s. 4. Amended 37 of 1988 s. 4)

(3) On or before 1 October in each alternate year after the year 1960, the Registrar shall compile a provisional
list of jurors which shall consist of- (Amended 37 of 1988 s. 4; 13 of 1995 s. 5)

(a) the name of every person whose name appeared on the last preceding list of jurors other than the name
of a person who the Registrar has reason to believe to have died or left Hong Kong permanently; and
(Replaced 3 of 1971 s. 3. Amended 37 of 1988 ss. 4 & 13; 13 of 1995 s. 5)

(b) subject to the determination of the Registrar upon any claim for exemption notified in accordance with
subsection (2), the names of those persons upon whom, on or before the last preceding 1 September,
the Commissioner caused a notice to be served in accordance with subsection (1). (Amended 37 of
1988 s. 4)

(4) For the purpose of subsection (1), service of notice may be effected either by personal service or by posting
the notice addressed to the person to be served at his last address as known to the Registrar. (Amended 37 of 1988 s.
4)

(Replaced 39 of 1960 s. 5)

Section: 8 (Repealed 13 of 1995 s. 6) 30/06/1997




Section: 9 Settlement of lists of jurors 30/06/1997


(1) On or before 1 October in each alternate year after the year 1960, the Registrar shall publish in the Gazette
and in one English language daily newspaper and in one Chinese language daily newspaper, each circulating in Hong
Kong, a notice stating that copies of the provisional list of jurors are available for inspection at his office and at other
addresses specified in the notice upon such days and between such hours as shall be specified in the notice up to and
including the next 14 October. (Replaced 37 of 1988 s. 5)

(2) At any time between such 1 October and such 14 October, any person may apply by notice in writing



Cap 3 - JURY ORDINANCE 5

addressed to the Registrar requiring that his name, or the name of any other person, be added to or deleted from the list
of jurors for cause duly assigned in such notice.

(3) On receipt of any application in accordance with subsection (2) relating to any person whose name appears
on the list of jurors the Registrar shall in his discretion allow or disallow the application and finally settle such list
accordingly.

(3A) In settling a list under this section the Registrar may, without any application under subsection (2) in that
behalf, remove from the list the name of any person who he has reason to believe to have died or left Hong Kong
permanently. (Replaced 3 of 1971 s. 4. Amended 37 of 1988 s. 13)

(4) (Repealed 13 of 1995 s. 7)
(5) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section the Registrar may adopt the list of a previous year

as the list of jurors of the current year. (Replaced 13 of 1995 s. 7)
(Added 39 of 1960 s. 5. Amended 13 of 1995 s. 7)


Section: 10 Publication and bringing into operation of lists of jurors 30/06/1997


(1) Not later than 1 February in each alternate year after the year 1961, the Registrar shall publish in the
Gazette a notice stating that copies of the list of jurors as finally settled by him may be inspected at his office and at
other addresses specified in the notice upon such days and during such hours as shall be specified in the notice.
(Replaced 37 of 1988 s. 6)

(2) The list of jurors shall be in force from 15 days after the date on which the notice referred to in subsection
(1) is published in the Gazette until 15 days after the date on which such notice relating to the next succeeding list is
so published.

(Replaced 39 of 1960 s. 6. Amended 13 of 1995 s. 8)

Section: 11 Power to add to settled list of jurors 30/06/1997


(1) The Registrar may-
(a) compile a list of the names of persons who have become liable for inclusion in the list of jurors after

the final settlement of that list in accordance with section 9; and
(b) publish in the Gazette and in one English language daily newspaper and in one Chinese language daily

newspaper, each circulating in Hong Kong, a notice stating that copies of the list of such additional
jurors are available for inspection at his office and at other addresses specified in the notice upon such
days and between such hours during the next 14 days as shall be specified in the notice.

(2) Any person may, during the period of 14 days specified in subsection (1), apply by notice in writing
addressed to the Registrar requiring that his name or the name of some other person, be added to or deleted from the
list compiled under subsection (1), for cause duly assigned in that notice.

(3) On receipt of any application in accordance with subsection (2) the Registrar shall in his discretion allow or
disallow the application and finally settle the list of additional jurors accordingly.

(4) The Registrar shall publish in the Gazette a notice stating that copies of the list of additional jurors finally
settled in accordance with subsection (3) may be inspected at his office and at other addresses specified in the notice
upon such days and during such hours as shall be specified in the notice.

(5) Any person whose name appears in a list of additional jurors finally settled in accordance with subsection
(3) shall be deemed for all purposes to be a juror whose name appeared in the list of jurors settled in accordance with
section 9.

(Replaced 37 of 1988 s. 7. Amended 13 of 1995 s. 9)

Section: 12 Power to remove from jury lists 30/06/1997


(1) The Registrar may, from time to time-
(a) amend the list of jurors by removing the name of any person who he has reason to believe is not

qualified or liable to serve as a juror, or is exempt from service; (Amended 13 of 1995 s. 10)
(b) (Repealed 13 of 1995 s. 10)

(2) (Repealed 37 of 1988 s. 8)
(Replaced 64 of 1984 s. 5)





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Section: 13 Formation of panel of jurors 30/06/1997


(1) Whenever it is necessary to summon a jury, the Registrar shall select from the list of jurors, by ballot or by
any other method of random selection, such number of jurors as a judge shall direct to form a panel. Whenever from
any cause any juror who has been selected cannot be served the Registrar shall select a further juror to complete the
number required for such panel. Such panel shall attend and serve for such a period as the judge shall direct.
Whenever the judge so directs the Registrar shall divide such panel equally into 2 or more sets, and the first of such
sets shall attend and serve, and the second and any subsequent set shall attend and serve, for such respective periods as
the judge shall direct: (Amended 57 of 1967 Schedule; 13 of 1995 s. 11)

Provided that notwithstanding that attendance and service for such a period shall have been so directed no juror
shall be excused from attendance and service unless and until he shall have been discharged by the judge in respect of
any case in which he has been called to serve as a juror. (Replaced 32 of 1950 s. 7. Amended 32 of 1952 s. 3; 64 of
1984 s. 6)

(2) (Repealed 64 of 1984 s. 6)

Section: 14 (Repealed 13 of 1995 s. 12) 30/06/1997




Section: 15 Juries in civil actions 25 of 1998 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 25 of 1998 s. 2


(1) Where the court or a judge orders that a cause shall be heard before a jury, the party applying for such order
shall, within 7 days after the cause is set down in the general hearing list or within such further period as the court or a
judge may allow, deposit with the Registrar a sum sufficient to cover the expenses of the jury. (Amended 39 of 1960
s. 8; 3 of 1971 s. 5)

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Rules of the High Court (Cap 4 sub. leg. A), if such deposit be
not made within the time prescribed in subsection (1) the cause shall be heard by the court without a jury. (Replaced
39 of 1960 s. 8)

(3) The expenses of the jury shall be treated as costs in the cause, and shall be awarded and apportioned in the
manner provided by the Rules of the High Court (Cap 4 sub. leg. A).

(Replaced 33 of 1955 s. 2. Amended 13 of 1995 s. 13; 25 of 1998 s. 2)

Section: 16 Passing over names for panel L.N. 211 of 1998 04/05/1998


(1) In forming any panel, the Registrar shall pass over the name of any person selected who he has reason to
believe is-

(a) dead or absent from Hong Kong;
(b) not qualified or liable to serve as a juror; or
(c) exempt from service. (Replaced 64 of 1984 s. 8)

(1A) (Repealed 13 of 1995 s. 14)
(2) In forming a panel under the Coroners Ordinance (Cap 504), the Registrar may also pass over the names of

any persons selected, if, in his opinion, such persons cannot conveniently be served in sufficient time to secure their
attendance as jurors at the inquiry. (Amended 32 of 1952 s. 4; 57 of 1967 Schedule; 64 of 1984 s. 8; 27 of 1997 s. 58)

(Replaced 23 of 1934 s. 2)

Section: 17 Summoning of jurors 30/06/1997


(1) The Registrar shall issue summonses according to Form 1 in the Schedule, which shall be served on the
persons selected (other than any person who has served, or (having been summoned) has attended for service, as a
juror at any time within the preceding period of 2 years) either personally, or by leaving the same at their residences or
places of business, or by sending the same by registered post addressed to any such person at his residence or place of
business: (Amended 64 of 1984 s. 9)



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Provided that if any such summons be not served personally it shall be served 4 clear days before the day
appointed for the sitting of the court and in addition in the case of service by post 2 clear days shall be allowed for
delivery.

(2) A summons served by post under the provisions hereof and not returned as undelivered shall be considered
as duly served in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

(3) If a person summoned under the provisions hereof fails to attend as required by the summons, it shall be
lawful for an officer of the court or a police officer to warn him personally to attend before the court, and upon non-
compliance with such warning it shall be lawful for a police officer with or without a warrant to apprehend him and
bring him before the court.

(Replaced 32 of 1950 s. 8)

Section: 18 Making of list of jurors summoned 30/06/1997


The Registrar shall cause a list containing the names, places of abode, and additions of the persons so summoned
to be made out as soon as conveniently may be after summonses have been served.

Section: 19 (Repealed 13 of 1995 s. 15) 30/06/1997




Section: 20 Special powers of judge as to composition of jury 30/06/1997


It shall be lawful for any judge before whom a case is or may be heard, in his discretion-
(a) on an application made by or on behalf of the parties (including in criminal cases the prosecution and

the accused) or any of them, or at his own instance, to make an order that the jury shall be composed of
men only or of women only, as the case may require;

(b) on an application made by a person to be exempted from service on a jury in respect of any case by
reason of the nature of the evidence to be given or the issues to be tried, to grant such exemption.
(Amended 67 of 1995 s. 91)

(Added 37 of 1947 s. 8)

Section: 21 Ballot for jury 30/06/1997


The Registrar shall cause numbers corresponding to the names of all the jurors summoned to form a panel to be
printed on separate cards of equal size and put in a box, and he or the clerk of the court shall, in open court, draw
therefrom until a jury is obtained.

(Replaced 64 of 1984 s. 10. Amended 37 of 1988 s. 9)

Section: 22 Keeping jury together 30/06/1997


(1) After the jury have been sworn or charged with the person accused, they shall be kept in some convenient
place in court apart by themselves (retirement of individual jurors for personal purposes only excepted, and then in
charge of an officer of the court), until the judge has summed up the evidence and has left the case with the jury:

Provided that if the court adjourns during the hearing of the case (either during the sitting or at the end of a day's
sitting) the judge may either allow the jury to disperse, or may direct that they be removed in charge of an officer of
the court to some convenient place, there to take refreshment and rest, until the court reassembles, and such officer
shall be sworn that he will suffer none save himself to speak to or to communicate with them without the leave of the
judge. (Amended 50 of 1911; 51 of 1911; 62 of 1911 Schedule; 63 of 1911 Schedule)

(2) If, after the case has been left with the jury, the jury desire to withdraw for the purpose of considering their
verdict, then they shall be kept by an officer of the court in some convenient place apart by themselves, but they shall
be allowed reasonable refreshment, with power also to retire alone only for personal purposes, until they are agreed
upon their verdict or are discharged therefrom by the court; and the officer shall be sworn that he will suffer none to
have access to them nor speak to them himself, except to ask whether they are agreed upon their verdict or to
communicate between them and the court. (Amended 50 of 1911; 62 of 1911 Schedule)

(Amended 1 of 1997 s. 8)



Cap 3 - JURY ORDINANCE 8


Section: 23 Empanelling new jury for new case 30/06/1997


The names of the persons drawn as jurors shall be marked on the list provided for in section 18, and the cards
with the numbers corresponding to such names shall be kept apart by themselves until all the cards in the box have
been drawn:

Provided that-
(a) if any case is brought on to be tried before the jury in any other case have brought in their verdict, it

shall be lawful for the court to order another jury to be drawn from the residue of the said cards for
such trial; and

(b) where no objection is made on behalf of the plaintiff or prosecutor or on behalf of the defendant or
person accused, it shall be lawful for the court to try any case with the same jury who have previously
tried or been drawn to try any other case, but it may order the name of any person on such jury, whom
both parties may consent to withdraw or who may be justly challenged or excused by the court, to be
set aside and another number corresponding to a name to be drawn from the box. (Amended 50 of
1911; 51 of 1911; 62 of 1911 Schedule; 63 of 1911 Schedule; 37 of 1988 s. 10)


Section: 24 Majority verdicts 30/06/1997


(1) In the event of any of the jurors, after reasonable consultation, dissenting from the residue the verdict of the
jury shall be determined as provided in this section.

(2) In a civil trial the verdict of-
(a) a majority of the jurors who have been sworn; or
(b) if the number of jurors has been reduced in accordance with section 25, a majority of the remaining

jurors,
shall be taken to be the verdict of the jury.

(3) In a criminal trial- (Amended 24 of 1993 s. 15)
(a) where a jury of 7 persons has been sworn-

(i) the verdict of a majority consisting of not less than 5 of them shall, subject to sub-paragraphs (ii)
and (iii), be taken to be the verdict of the jury;

(ii) if the number of jurors has been reduced to 6 in accordance with section 25, the verdict of a
majority consisting of not less than 5 of them shall be taken to be the verdict of the jury;

(iii) if the number of jurors has been reduced to 5 in accordance with section 25, the jury must be
unanimous in their verdict; and

(b) where a jury of 9 persons has been sworn-
(i) the verdict of a majority consisting of not less than 7 of them shall, subject to sub-paragraphs (ii),

(iii) and (iv), be taken to be the verdict of the jury;
(ii) if the number of jurors has been reduced to 8 in accordance with section 25, the verdict of a

majority consisting of not less than 6 of them shall be taken to be the verdict of the jury;
(iii) if the number of jurors has been reduced to 6 or 7 in accordance with section 25, the verdict of a

majority consisting of not less than 5 of them shall be taken to be the verdict of the jury; and
(iv) if the number of jurors has been reduced to 5 in accordance with section 25, the jury must be

unanimous in their verdict.
(4) (Repealed 24 of 1993 s. 15)
(5) If in any trial it seems for any cause to be desirable, the judge may direct the jury to consider their verdict

further.
(Replaced 3 of 1986 s. 3)


Section: 25 Death or discharge of juror 30/06/1997


(1) A court may at any time during the trial of any action, suit, information or indictment prior to the verdict
discharge a juror-

(a) where, in the interests of justice, it appears to the court expedient to do so; or
(b) in the interests of the juror.

(2) Where a member of the jury dies or is discharged by the court under subsection (1), the jury shall



Cap 3 - JURY ORDINANCE 9

nevertheless, subject to subsections (3) and (4), be considered as remaining properly constituted for all the purposes of
the action, suit, information or indictment then being tried. (Amended 3 of 1986 s. 4)

(3) Subject to subsection (4), in the event of the death or discharge by the court under subsection (1) of any
juror during the trial of any action, suit, information or indictment, the trial of such action, suit, information or
indictment shall be proceeded with in like manner as if the full number of jurors had continued to serve on the jury,
and any verdict returned by the remaining jurors, being an unanimous verdict or a majority verdict in accordance with
section 24(2), (3) or (4), shall be of equal validity as if it had been returned by a jury consisting of the full number of
jurors. (Replaced 3 of 1986 s. 4)

(4) In any civil or criminal trial, the jury shall consist of not less than 5 persons. (Replaced 24 of 1993 s. 16)
(Replaced 55 of 1978 s. 2)


Section: 26 Mode of giving verdict 30/06/1997


The verdict of the jury shall in all cases be given by the foreman in open court and in the presence of all the jury,
and, if in a criminal proceeding, in the presence of the person accused, and shall thereupon be recorded by the
Registrar or clerk of the court who shall, before taking the verdict, ask if they are all or by what majority agreed
thereon, and whether they find for the plaintiff or for the defendant, and, in the case of a person accused, whether they
find such person accused guilty or not guilty; and the jury shall either pronounce a general verdict for the plaintiff or
defendant, or of guilty or not guilty, or else shall return a special verdict finding the facts of the case:

Provided that the jury may acquit any person accused of a part of the charge against him, and find him guilty of
the remainder.

(Amended 51 of 1911; 63 of 1911 Schedule; 23 of 1934 s. 3)

Section: 27 Case of jury not agreeing upon verdict 30/06/1997


Whenever the jury in any case have withdrawn and been kept apart for the purpose of considering their verdict,
and have not returned the same before all the other cases for trial at the same sitting or session have been disposed of,
or when it sufficiently appears to the court that the said jury cannot agree upon a verdict, and that there is not such a
majority as aforesaid agreeing, the court shall discharge such jury, and shall cause a new jury to be empanelled and
sworn and charged with any person accused, and the action, suit, information, or indictment shall be tried as if such
first jury had not been empanelled.

(Amended 51 of 1911; 63 of 1911 Schedule; 8 of 1929 s. 6)

Section: 28 Power of the court to exempt juror 30/06/1997


(1) On application and on cause being shown, the court may-
(a) exempt any person from serving as a juror on any trial or for any period;
(b) remove the name of any person from the list of jurors. (Replaced 37 of 1988 s. 11. Amended 13 of

1995 s. 16)
(1A) An application under subsection (1) shall be made-

(a) where the person has been summoned to appear as a juror, to the court or judge before whom he is
required to attend; and

(b) in any other case, by originating summons to a judge of the court. (Added 37 of 1988 s. 11)
(2) Without prejudice to anything contained in subsection (1) or (1A), if any person who has been summoned

by the Registrar to attend on a jury shows in writing to the satisfaction of the Registrar that there is a good reason why
he should be excused from attending on that jury, it shall be lawful for the Registrar, notwithstanding anything
contained in this or any other Ordinance, to excuse that person from so attending: (Amended 37 of 1988 s. 11)

Provided that the Registrar shall produce to the court or judge any application received by him from any person
asking to be excused from attendance on any jury summoned for the trial of cases before that court or judge and any
correspondence relating to any such application. (Added 39 of 1960 s. 10. Amended 1 of 1997 s. 9)

Section: 29 Challenge of jurors by accused 30/06/1997


A person arraigned on an indictment for any offence may challenge not more than 5 jurors without cause and



Cap 3 - JURY ORDINANCE 10

any juror or jurors for cause.
(Replaced 3 of 1971 s. 6)


Section: 30 Talesmen 30/06/1997


Whenever there is a deficiency of jurors, it shall be lawful for the court, at the prayer of either of the parties in
the action or of the prosecutor or person accused, to put upon the jury so many fit and proper persons of the bystanders
or others who can be speedily procured as may be sufficient to make up the full number thereof.

(Amended 50 of 1911; 51 of 1911; 62 of 1911 Schedule; 63 of 1911 Schedule; 9 of 1950 Schedule)

Section: 31 Payment of jurors L.N. 211 of 1998 04/05/1998


(1) A person who serves as a juror in any case, criminal or civil, or in any inquest under the Coroners
Ordinance (Cap 504), shall be paid an allowance, at such rate as the Chief Executive in Council may prescribe by
order published in the Gazette.

(2) In addition to the allowance paid to him under subsection (1), a person who serves as a juror may be paid an
additional allowance under this subsection if-

(a) in the case of proceedings in the Court of First Instance, the Chief Justice or the trial judge; or
(b) in the case of an inquest under the Coroners Ordinance (Cap 504), the Chief Justice,

so orders.
(3) The allowance paid to a person under subsection (2) shall be of such amount as the Chief Justice or the

judge may direct, but shall not exceed such rate as the Chief Executive in Council may prescribe by order published in
the Gazette.

(Replaced 3 of 1971 s. 7. Amended 27 of 1997 s. 59; 25 of 1998 s. 2)

Section: 32 Fining of juror for non-attendance, etc. 21 of 1999 11/06/1999


(1) If any juror, having been duly served with a summons-
(a) fails to attend; or
(b) being present, does not appear when called; or
(c) after appearance, withdraws himself without the permission of the judge,

he shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine at level 2. (Amended 50 of 1911; 51 of 1911; 62 of 1911 Schedule;
63 of 1911 Schedule; 32 of 1952 s. 5; 55 of 1978 s. 3; 21 of 1999 s. 23)

(2) A person shall not be liable to a fine under subsection (1) if he can show some reasonable cause for his
failure to comply with the summons, or for not appearing or for withdrawing himself without permission. (Added 55
of 1978 s. 3)

(3) Where any juror, having been duly served with a summons-
(a) being present, does not appear when called; or
(b) after appearance, withdraws himself without the permission of the judge,

such failure to appear or such withdrawal shall be punishable as a criminal contempt of court committed in the face of
the court. (Added 64 of 1984 s. 11)

Section: 33 Punishment of employer discriminating against employee

by reason of jury service
L.N. 211 of 1998 04/05/1998



(1) No employer shall terminate, or threaten to terminate, the employment of, or in anyway discriminate
against, any person employed by him by reason of the fact that such person-

(a) has served, or is serving, as a juror in any proceedings in the Court of First Instance or in any inquest
under the Coroners Ordinance (Cap 504); (Amended 27 of 1997 s. 60; 25 of 1998 s. 2)

(b) has been summoned under section 17 to appear as a juror at the Court of First Instance; or (Amended
25 of 1998 s. 2)

(c) has been summoned under section 22 of the Coroners Ordinance (Cap 504) to appear as a juror at an
inquest under that Ordinance. (Amended 27 of 1997 s. 60)

(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of $25000 and



Cap 3 - JURY ORDINANCE 11

to imprisonment for 3 months.
(Added 3 of 1971 s. 8. Amended 55 of 1978 s. 4; 64 of 1984 s. 12)


Section: 34 Levying of fines 30/06/1997


All fines imposed under this Ordinance shall be levied in such manner as the court or judge may direct, and,
when levied, shall be paid to the Registrar.

(Amended 50 of 1911; 62 of 1911 Schedule)

Section: 35 Inspection of property by jury 30/06/1997


On the trial of any civil or criminal case, either party, or the prosecutor or person accused shall be at liberty to
apply to the court for an order for the inspection by the jury of any property the inspection of which may be material to
the proper determination of the proceedings in question, and the court may make such order, on such terms as to
adjournment, costs, and otherwise, as the court may direct.

(Amended 50 of 1911; 51 of 1911; 62 of 1911 Schedule; 63 of 1911 Schedule)

Section: 36 Declaration by non-Christian juror in lieu of oath 30/06/1997


Every person, not being a Christian, who may be summoned to serve as a juror in any case, may in lieu of the
oath now required to be taken make the following declaration-

"I, A.B., do solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare that I will hearken to the evidence, and a true verdict
give, to the best of my skill and knowledge, without fear, favour, or affection."

(2 of 1860 s. 1 incorporated. Amended 50 of 1911; 62 of 1911 Schedule)

Section: 37 (Repealed 25 of 1998 s. 2) 25 of 1998 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 25 of 1998 s. 2

Section: 38 Rules 30/06/1997


(1) The Chief Justice may make rules providing for the carrying into effect of the provisions of this Ordinance.
Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power such rules may provide for forms and summonses.

(2) (Repealed 37 of 1988 s. 12)
(Added 37 of 1947 s. 9)


Schedule: SCHEDULE 25 of 1998 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 25 of 1998 s. 2


[section 17]


FORM 1


Form of Summons to Juror
A.B.

You are hereby summoned to appear as a juror at the Court of First Instance to be holden at

on the day of , 19 , at the hour of o'clock in the noon, and
there to attend from day to day until you shall be discharged from the court.


(Signed) C.D., Registrar.



Cap 3 - JURY ORDINANCE 12

___________________________________________________________________
N.B.-The penalty for disobedience hereto is a fine not exceeding $3000.

(Amended 37 of 1988 s. 14; 13 of 1995 s. 17; 25 of 1998 s. 2)


FORM 2 [section 7]


JURY ORDINANCE


(Chapter 3)


NOTICE


Jury Service



1. Whereas it appears that you are a person-

(a) qualified to serve as a juror under section 4; and
(b) not exempt from service as a juror under section 5,

you are hereby notified that your name will be added to the list of jurors unless, within 14 days after the receipt of this
notice, you notify me in writing that you claim exemption from jury service on either of the following grounds-

(i) that you do not qualify to serve as a juror under section 4 of the Jury Ordinance;
(ii) that you are exempt from service as a juror under section 5 of the Jury Ordinance.


2. A copy of sections 4 and 5 of the Jury Ordinance is attached hereto for your information.


Dated this day of , 19 .



Registrar of the High Court.


HIGH COURT
38 QUEENSWAY
HONG KONG

(Replaced 28 of 1962 s. 5. Amended 37 of 1988 s. 14; 25 of 1998 s. 2)

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