Women and Justice: Court: Court of Final Appeal

Domestic Case Law

Director of Immigration v. Q.T. Court of Final Appeal (2018)

Gender discrimination, LGBTIQ

The plaintiff, a British national, applied for a Hong Kong visa as a dependent of her same-sex partner, who was in Hong Kong on a work visa. The plaintiff and her partner had entered into a civil partnership in England. The Director of Immigration rejected the plaintiff’s application on the grounds that the term “spouse” in the spousal dependent visa policy was limited to the concept of marriage as defined under Hong Kong law, recognizing only the union of a man and a woman. The court found that the director acted unlawfully by not granting dependent visas to the same-sex spouses of holders of work visas. It did not, however, hold that Hong Kong law recognized same-sex marriage.

Chan Wah v. Hang Hau Rural Community and Others Court of Final Appeal (2000)

Gender discrimination, Harmful traditional practices

The plaintiffs were non-indigenous villagers who sought declarations that their local village election laws were unlawful for restricting the participation of non-indigenous villagers in the election of village representatives. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, non-indigenous females married to indigenous villagers could vote, but non-indigenous males married to indigenous villagers could not vote. The court found that this distinction violated the Sex Discrimination Ordinance. 

L.K.W. v. D.D. Court of Final Appeal (2010)

Divorce and dissolution of marriage, Property and inheritance rights

The court considered the amount of assets a wife was entitled to in a divorce proceeding. The wife appealed the lower court decision that one-third of the joint assets should go to her. The court did not find the allocation to be unfair or unreasonable and upheld the lower court’s division of the total assets.

S.P.H. v. S.A. Court of Final Appeal (2014)

Divorce and dissolution of marriage, Property and inheritance rights

The appellant and respondent were German nationals whose marriage was recognized in Hong Kong and who were initiating a divorce. Prior to their marriage, they had entered into a prenuptial agreement under German law. The court considered whether Hong Kong was the proper forum for the divorce proceedings, and whether a Hong Kong court should stay the divorce action at the request of one of the parties, due to ongoing divorce proceedings in Germany. The court adopted the principles of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom decision in Radmacher v Granatino (2011) favoring prenuptial agreements. This reversed the previously long-held position that prenuptial agreements were against public policy and not to be enforced.