Latest by Jacky Darsono

Publication

Witnesses overseas and preparations for trial during a pandemic

Published on 17 September 2021. By Samuel Hung, Partner and Jacky Darsono, Partner and Jennifer Leung, Associate

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A couple of recent High Court decisions demonstrate some of the issues that arise when a party applies for one or more of their witnesses to give evidence at trial by video conferencing facilities, or seeks an adjournment of a trial, because a witness is overseas and experiencing difficulties in returning to Hong Kong in time for a trial date given the COVID-19 pandemic. In such circumstances, the courts’ ultimate priority is the administration of justice, which involves (among other things) balancing the parties’ competing interests while exercising their case management powers. A trial date (a “milestone date”) is generally sacrosanct and live evidence in person at trial is the norm.

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