The Ordinary Legal Aid Scheme covers civil proceedings in the District Court, the Court of First Instance, the Court of Appeal, the Court of Final Appeal, certain coroner’s inquests, as well as application to the Mental Health Review Tribunal. The types of cases include:
- matrimonial cases
- traffic accident claims
- landlord and tenant disputes
- claims in respect of industrial accidents
- employees' compensation
- immigration matters
- breach of contract
- professional negligence
- seamen's wage claims
- employees' wages and related employment benefits
- Mental Health Review Tribunal cases
- Coroners inquests involving interests of public justice
With effect from 30 November 2012, the Ordinary Legal Aid Scheme has been expanded to cover monetary claims in derivatives of securities, currency futures or other futures contracts when fraud, misrepresentation or deception is involved in respect of the sale.
- To successfully apply for legal aid, you must pass the merits test and the means test.
- Means test – You will be eligible if your financial resources do not exceed the financial eligibility limit. The current limit is HK$307,130. The Director may waive the financial eligibility limit in meritorious cases in which a breach of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance or an inconsistency with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is an issue.
You can compute your financial resources by clicking here.
- Merits test – You need to show that you have reasonable grounds for taking or defending proceedings.