Last Updated: Friday, 19 September 2014, 13:55 GMT

Hong Kong: Domestic Violence Ordinance of 1986

Publisher National Legislative Bodies / National Authorities
Publication Date 19 December 1986
Citation / Document Symbol Cap 189
Cite as National Legislative Bodies / National Authorities, Hong Kong: Domestic Violence Ordinance of 1986, 19 December 1986, Cap 189, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b5240.html [accessed 20 September 2014]
Comments This is the offical consolidation. The latest amendment included here is Ordinance No. 25 of 1998. The Rules are attached at the end for easy reference. Please note that the Chinese terms appeared in the text are not reproduced here.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Chapter 189: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ORDINANCE

Long title

To provide protection of persons from domestic violence and for matters ancillary thereto.

[19 December 1986] (L. N. 305 of 1986)

Section: 1Short title

This Ordinance may be cited as the Domestic Violence Ordinance.

Section: 2Interpretation and application

(1)In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-

"child" means a person under the age of 18 years; (Amended 80 of 1997 s. 25) "matrimonial home" includes a home in which the parties to a marriage ordinarily reside together whether or not it is occupied at the same time by other persons.

(2)Subject to section 6(3) this Ordinance shall apply to the cohabitation of a man and a woman as it applies to marriage and references in this Ordinance to "marriage" and "matrimonial home" shall be construed accordingly.

Section: 3Power of District Court to grant injunction

(1)On an application by a party to a marriage the District Court, if it is satisfied that the applicant or a child living with the applicant has been molested by the other party to the marriage and subject to section 6, may grant an injunction containing any or all of the following provisions-

(a)a provision restraining that other party from molesting the applicant;

(b)a provision restraining that other party from molesting any child living with the applicant;

(c)a provision excluding that other party from the matrimonial home, or from a specified part of the matrimonial home, or from a specified area whether or not the matrimonial home is included in that area;

(d)a provision requiring that other party to permit the applicant to enter and remain in the matrimonial home or in a specified part of the matrimonial home, whether or not any other relief is being sought in the proceedings.

(2)In the exercise of its jurisdiction to grant an injunction containing a provision mentioned in subsection (1) (c) or (d) the District Court shall have regard to the conduct of the parties, both in relation to each other and otherwise, to their respective needs and financial resources, to the needs of any child living with the applicant and to all the circumstances of the case.

[cf. 1976 c. 50 s. 1 U.K.]

Section: 4Court of First Instance may exercise powers of District Court in certain cases

Remarks:

Amendments retroactively made - see 25 of 1998 s. 2

The Court of First Instance may exercise the powers conferred on the District Court under section 3-

(a)in a case of urgency; or

(b)where the Court of First Instance is satisfied that special circumstances are present which make it appropriate for the Court of First Instance rather than the District Court to exercise those powers.

(Amended 25 of 1998 s. 2)

Section: 5Arrest for breach of order

Remarks:

Amendments retroactively made - see 25 of 1998 s. 2

(1)Where, of an application by a party to a marriage, the Court of First Instance or the District Court grants an injunction (whether pursuant to jurisdiction conferred by this Ordinance or pursuant to any other jurisdiction) containing a provision, in whatever terms, which-

(a)restrains the other party from using violence against the applicant or a child living with the applicant; or

(b)excludes that other party from the matrimonial home or form a specified part of the matrimonial home or form a specified area, the Court of First Instance or the District Court, as the case may be, if it is satisfied that the other party has caused actual bodily harm to the applicant or, as the case may be, to the child concerned, may, subject to section 6, at the same time as it grants the injunction or at any time during the period for with the injunction is granted, attach to the injunction a power of arrest in the prescribed form.

(Amended 25 of 1998 s. 2)

(2)Where under subsection (1) a power of arrest is attached to an injunction a police officer may arrest without warrant any person whom he reasonably suspects of being in breach of the injunction by reason of that person's use of violence or, as the case may be, his entry into any premises or area specified in the injunction, and the police officer shall have all necessary powers including the power of entry by the use of reasonable force to effect that arrest.

(3)Where a person is arrested under subsection (2) he shall-

(a)be brought-

(i)in the case of a power of arrest attached under subsection (1) to an injunction by the Court of First Instance, before the Court of First Instance; and

(ii)in the case of a power of arrest attached under that subsection to an injunction by the District Court, before the District Court, before the expiry of the day after the day of his arrest; and

(b)not be released within the period referred to in paragraph (a) except on the direction of the Court of First Instance or the District Court, as the case may be, but nothing in this section shall authorize his detention at any time after the expiry of the period mentioned in paragraph (a). (Amended 25 of 1998 s. 2)

(4)Section 71 of the Interpretation and General Clause Ordinance (Cap 1) shall not apply to this section except in so far as that section applies to a gale warning day.

[cf. 1976 c. 50 s. 2 U.K.]

Section: 6Limitations with respect to certain injunctions and powers of arrest

(1)A provision mentioned in section 3 (1)(c) or (d) contained in an injunction granted under this Ordinance shall have effect for such period not exceeding 3 months, as the court considers necessary.

(2)A power of arrest attached under section 5 (1) to an injunction shall-

(a)be granted for such period, not exceeding 3 months, as the court considers necessary; and

(b)lapse on the expiry of the period for which the injunction was granted.

(3)Nothing in this Ordinance shall authorize a court on an application by one of the parties to a relationship to which this Ordinance applies by virtue section 2 (2) to grant an injunction containing a provision mentioned in section 3 (1) (c) or (d), or, under section 5 (1), attach to an injunction a power of arrest, unless that court is satisfied that having regard to the permanence of that relationship it is appropriate in all the circumstances to grant that injunction or attach power of arrest.

Section: 7Power of court to grant extension

A court may extend-

(a)an injunction granted under this Ordinance containing a provision mentioned in section 3 (1) (c) or (d); or

(b)a power of arrest attached to an injunction under section 5 (1), prior to the expiry of the period thereof for a further period so that the total period thereof does not exceed 6 months from the date when that injunction was granted or that power of arrest attached.

Section: 9Saving as to existing jurisdiction

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

The powers conferred under this Ordinance shall be in addition to and not in derogation from the powers of the Court of First Instance and the District Court.

(Amended 25 of 1998 s.2)

Section: 10Injunctions not to be registered

An injunction containing a provision mentioned in section 3(1)(c) or (d) shall not be registered under the Land Registration Ordinance (Cap 128).

Section: 11Powers of the court to be exercised by a judge

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

(1)The powers conferred by this Ordinance on the Court of First Instance shall be exercised by a judge. (Amended 25 of 1998 s.2)

(2)The powers conferred by this Ordinance on the District Court shall be exercised by a District Judge.

Chapter: 189A
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RULES

Empowering section

(Cap 189 section 8)

[19 December 1986]

Rule: 1 Citation

These rules may be cited as the Domestic Violence Rules.

(Enacted 1986)

Rule: 2 Interpretation

Remarks:

Amendments retroactively made - see 25 of 1998 s.2

In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires-

"judge" means-

(a)in relation to proceedings commenced in the Court of First Instance, the Chief Judge of the High Court, a Justice of Appeal, a judge of the Court of First Instance and a deputy judge of the Court of First Instance; and (25 of 1998 s. 2)

(b)in relation to proceedings commenced in the District Court, a District Judge and a deputy District Judge of the District Court, and "court" shall be construed accordingly;

"power of arrest" means a power of arrest attached to an injunction under section 5 (1) of the Ordinance.

(Enacted 1986)

Rule: 3 Application of Rules of High Court

Remarks:

Amendments retroactively made - see 25 of 1998 s. 2

Subject to these rules, the Rules of the High Court (Cap 4 sub. leg.) shall apply to proceedings under the Ordinance as they apply to proceedings in the Court of First Instance with such modifications as are necessary for that purpose.

(Enacted 1986. 25 of 1998 s. 2)

Rule: 4 Form of power of arrest

A power of arrest shall be in Form 1 in the Schedule.

(Enacted 1986)

Rule: 5 Service of power of arrest

Remarks:

Amendments retroactively made - see 25 of 1998 s. 2

A copy of any power of arrest or order relating thereto shall be served on the Commissioner of Police by-

(a)the Registrar of the High Court; or (25 of 1998 s. 2)

(b)the solicitor of the party on whose application the power of arrest or order is granted, if a judge, on being satisfied that the urgency of the case so requires, makes an order that service may be so effected.

(Enacted 1986)

Rule: 6 Power of release on bail

(1)A judge may, on the application of a person arrested under a power of arrest, order that person to be admitted to bail and the recognizance of bail may be taken before the judge or, if the order so directs, before any magistrate. (47 of 1997 s. 10)

(2)A judge may on admitting a person to bail under paragraph (1) order that such sum of money as the judge may specify be deposited with the court by the person arrested, as a condition of admission to bail.

(3)If a person admitted to bail does not appear at the time and place required by the judge, the judge may order any sum deposited pursuant to an order under paragraph (2) to be forfeited.

(Enacted 1986)

Rule: 7 Transfer of proceedings

Remarks:

Amendments retroactively made - see 25 of 1998 s. 2

Proceedings begun in the Court of First Instance under the Ordinance may be transferred to the District Court if a judge of the Court of First Instance is of the opinion that they should be heard and determined in the District Court.

(Enacted 1986. 25 of 1998 s. 2)

Rule: 8 Proceedings to be in chambers

All proceedings under the Ordinance shall be disposed of in chambers unless the judge hearing them otherwise directs.

(Enacted 1986)

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