Hong Kong Lawyer

October 2017

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October 2017 • CASES IN BRIEF 案 例 撮 要 CASES IN BRIEF 案 例 撮 要 ADMINISTRATIVE LAW Deng Suet Yan v Hong Kong Housing Authority [2017] HKEC 1416 Court of Appeal Civil Appeal No. 4 of 2017 Lam V-P, Cheung and Kwan JJA 7 July 2017 Appeal Panel (Housing) – decision upholding decision of Housing Authority to issue notice to quit – whether breach of Tameside duty to investigate by Appeal Panel (Housing) X was a tenant of a public housing unit. The Housing Authority served a notice to quit on X for failure to retain regular and continuous residence in the unit. X's appeal to the Appeal Panel (Housing) (the "Panel") was dismissed. The Panel rejected laboratory test reports adduced by X showing that a volatile organic compound in the air and the water in the unit exceeded certain standards as adequate to prove the unit was uninhabitable; and noted that X had decided to live in mainland China. X's application for judicial review of the Panel's decision was dismissed for lack of merit. X appealed, on the ground of inter alia a failure to investigate X's case, in breach of the Tameside duty. Held, dismissing the appeal, that: • The Panel had asked the right questions and considered the relevant evidence. On a proper analysis, it was more a matter of the Wednesbury rationality of the Panel's assessment of the evidence than its discharge of the Tameside duty. The Panel had no duty under the Housing Ordinance (Cap. 283) to conduct its own inquiry. Its function was simply to hear and decide an appeal under s. 20 thereof. It had no duty to advise a party of his failure to adduce sufficient evidence to support his appeal or to direct him to obtain further evidence; and probably no power to direct investigations by third parties. • It was reasonably open to the Panel, on the available evidence, to conclude that X's case on the habitability of the unit was not established. Accordingly, there was no breach of the Tameside duty by the Panel. 行 政 法 Deng Suet Yan v Hong Kong Housing Authority [2017] HKEC 1416 上訴法庭 上訴法庭民事上訴案2017年第4號 上訴 法 庭副庭長林文 瀚,上訴 法 庭 法官 張澤祐及關淑馨 2017年7月7日 上訴委員會(房屋) — 裁定維持房屋 委員會發出遷出通知書的決定 — 上訴委員會(房屋)有否在進行調查 方面違反Tameside責任 本案上訴人(下稱X)是一名公屋租戶。房 屋委員會向X發出遷出通知書,理由為X 未有經常持續居住於其單位。X向上訴委 員會(房屋)(下稱「委員會」)提出上訴, 但被駁回。委員會拒絕接納X為證明其單 位不適合居住而呈交的實驗室測試報告, 其內容表示該單位內的空氣和水份含有具 揮發性的有機化合物。委員會亦表示留意 到X已決定在內地居住。X不服委員會的 裁決,提出司法覆核申請,但以缺乏理據 為由而被駁回。X現提出上訴,理由之一 為委員會未有對X的案情進行調查,從而 違反 Tameside一案所訂明的責任。 裁決 — 駁回上訴﹕ • 委員會已提出正確的問題,亦已考慮 相關證據。按恰當分析,所涉問題並 不在於委員會有否履行Tameside一案 所訂明的責任,而是在於委員會對於 證據的評估是否屬於Wednesbury一案 所指的合乎常理。委員會並無責任根 據《房屋條例》(第283章)自行作出 查詢。其責任僅限於審理和裁決根據 該條例第20條提出的上訴。委員會沒 有責任提醒上訴人未有提交充分證據 以支持上訴又或指示該人獲取更多證 據,而且大概亦無權指示由第三方進 行調查。 • 根據呈堂證據,委員會大可合理地斷 定X未能證明其關於單位是否適合居 住的案情成立。據此,委員會沒有違 反 Tameside一案所訂明的責任。 www.hk-lawyer.org 57 www.hk-lawyer.org 57

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