The small claims tribunal of Hong Kong: is it living up to its objectives?

Document Type


Publication details

Zhang, M & Price, R 2015, 'The small claims tribunal of Hong Kong: is it living up to its objectives?', City University of Hong Kong Law Review, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 245-264.

Peer Reviewed



Dealing quickly and conveniently with civil claims which are relatively small in amount, the Small Claims Tribunal of Hong Kong (the ‘Tribunal’) is a well-patronized forum which should have attracted academic attention because of its focus on the money claims of consumers. In this light, this paper argues that the Tribunal is ignored not because of a valid perception that its work is unimportant or lacking in sophistication, but rather due to the fact that its acumen in dealing successfully with a high volume of matters is seriously underrated and that elements of its practice could be adopted with good effect elsewhere in the court system of Hong Kong. This paper makes an evaluation of the Tribunal by measuring its actual praxis with reference to its professed objectives, namely to provide an accessible, quick and informal means of resolving small money claims. We survey the jurisdiction’s problems and make a range of reform proposals designed to improve yet still further the operation of the Tribunal.

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