Judicial Proceedings (Regulation Of Reports) Ordinance


Published: 1997-06-30

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Cap 287 - JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS (REGULATION OF REPORTS) ORDINANCE 1

Chapter: 287 JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS (REGULATION OF
REPORTS) ORDINANCE

Gazette Number Version Date


Long title 30/06/1997


To amend the law relating to contempt of court and to regulate the publication of reports of judicial proceedings in
such manner as to prevent injury to public morals.

(Amended 14 of 1973 s. 2)


[15 April 1955]

(Originally 12 of 1955)

Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997


This Ordinance may be cited as the Judicial Proceedings (Regulation of Reports) Ordinance.

Section: 2 Interpretation 30/06/1997


In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-
"court" (法庭) means any court, tribunal or person having by law power to hear, receive and examine evidence on

oath;
"court sitting in private" (非公開法庭) means any court sitting in camera or in chambers; [cf. 1960 c. 65 s. 12(3)

U.K.]
"judicial proceedings" (司法程序) and "proceedings" (法律程序) mean proceedings before any court.

(Added 14 of 1973 s. 2)

Section: 3 Restriction on publication of reports of judicial

proceedings
L.N. 362 of 1997 01/07/1997



(1) It shall not be lawful to print or publish, or cause or procure to be printed or published-
(a) (Repealed 68 of 1995 s. 6)
(b) in relation to any judicial proceedings for dissolution of marriage, for nullity of marriage, or for

judicial separation, any particulars other than the following, that is to say- (Amended 80 of 1997 s. 85)
(i) the names, addresses and occupations of the parties and witnesses;
(ii) a concise statement of the charges, defences and counter-charges in support of which evidence

has been given;
(iii) submissions on any point of law arising in the course of the proceedings, and the decision of the

court thereon;
(iv) the summing-up of the judge and the finding of the jury (if any) and the judgment of the court

and observations made by the judge in giving judgment. (Amended 68 of 1995 s. 6)
(2) Any person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be

liable to a fine of eight thousand dollars and to imprisonment for four months:
Provided that no person, other than a proprietor, editor, master printer or publisher, shall be liable to be

convicted under this section.
(3) A prosecution under this section shall not be instituted except by or with the consent of the Secretary for

Justice. (Amended L.N. 362 of 1997)
(4) Nothing in this section shall apply to the printing of any pleading, transcript of evidence or other document

for use in connection with any judicial proceedings or the communication thereof to persons concerned in the
proceedings, or to the printing or publishing of any notice or report in pursuance of the directions of the court; or to
the printing or publishing of any matter in any separate volume or part of any bona fide series of law reports which
does not form part of any other publication and consists solely of reports of proceedings in courts of law, or in any
publication of a technical character bona fide intended for circulation among members of the legal or medical



Cap 287 - JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS (REGULATION OF REPORTS) ORDINANCE 2

profession.
(Amended 14 of 1973 s. 2)


Section: 4 Innocent publication and distribution 30/06/1997


(1) A person shall not be guilty of contempt of court on the ground that he has published any matter calculated
to interfere with the course of justice in connection with any proceedings pending or imminent at the time of
publication if at that time, having taken all reasonable care, he did not know and had no reason to suspect that the
proceedings were pending, or that such proceedings were imminent, as the case may be.

(2) A person shall not be guilty of contempt of court on the ground that he has distributed a publication
containing such matter as is mentioned in subsection (1) if at the time of distribution, having taken all reasonable care,
he did not know that it contained any such matter as aforesaid and had no reason to suspect that it was likely to do so.

(3) The proof of any fact tending to establish a defence afforded by this section to any person in proceedings
for contempt of court shall lie upon that person.

(Added 14 of 1973 s. 2)
[cf. 1960 c. 65 s. 11 U.K.]


Section: 5 Publication of information relating to proceedings in

private
L.N. 5 of 2016 05/04/2016



(1) The publication of information relating to proceedings before any court sitting in private shall not of itself
be contempt of court except in the following cases, that is to say-

(a) where the proceedings relate to the wardship or adoption of an infant or wholly or mainly to the
guardianship, custody, maintenance or upbringing of an infant, or rights of access to an infant;

(ab) subject to subsection (1A), where the proceedings are brought under the Child Abduction and Custody
Ordinance (Cap 512); (Added 16 of 2014 s. 23)
(b) where the proceedings are brought under Part II, IV or IVA of the Mental Health Ordinance (Cap 136);

(Amended 46 of 1988 s. 33)
(c) where the court sits in private for reasons of national security during that part of the proceedings about

which the information in question is published;
(d) where the information relates to a secret process, discovery or invention which is in issue in the

proceedings;
(e) where the court, having power to do so, expressly prohibits the publication of all information relating

to the proceedings or of information of the description which is published.
(1A) The publication of a judgment, in which the identity of a person referred to is kept anonymous, of a competent

court in proceedings under the Hague Convention is not of itself contempt of court if—
(a) none of the parties to those proceedings objects to that publication; and
(b) the court has made an order authorizing that publication. (Added 16 of 2014 s. 23)
(2) Without prejudice to subsection (1), the publication of the text or a summary of the whole or part of an

order made by a court sitting in private shall not of itself be contempt of court except where the court, having power to
do so, expressly prohibits the publication.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as implying that any publication is punishable as contempt of
court which would not be so punishable apart from this section.
(4) In subsection (1A)—
Hague Convention (《海牙公約》) means the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

signed at The Hague on 25 October 1980. (Added 16 of 2014 s. 23)
(Added 14 of 1973 s. 2)

[cf. 1960 c. 65 s. 12 U.K.]