Under the pandemic of COVID-19, many respond by ‘stay home’, which results in a higher chance of family conflicts and a rise in the number of domestic violence cases. How can you respond if you are the one facing domestic violence? What protection can we get from the laws in Hong Kong?
The Department of Justice’s Policy for Prosecuting Cases involving Domestic Violence refers “domestic violence” as any criminal offence which arises out of violence, threatening behavior or physical, sexual or emotional abuse between adults who are or have been intimate partners, or between family members. Possible criminal offences are murder, manslaughter, common assault, rape, indecent assault, etc.
Under the Domestic and Cohabitation Relationships Ordinance, an application for injunction can be made by an eligible person to the District Court or the Court of First Instance. The Court may grant injunction to restrain the offender from using violence against the applicant or a child living with the applicant, or excludes the abuser from the matrimonial/shared home or a specified area. The Court may attach a Power of Arrest to the injunction if it finds that the abuser has caused or is likely to cause actual bodily harm to the victim. The police will then be allowed to arrest the offender with all necessary power where he is reasonably suspected of breaching the injunction. The arrested will be brought before the Court, which made the injunction, to answer for the breach.
Ms. Ngan is on the panel of Solicitors for the Legal Aid Department of criminal matters, matrimonial/family law, employee compensation, personal injury, medical negligence, and land disputes and has participated in cases related to the Hague Convention on the Abduction of Children, which involved parental abduction of children in and out of the country. In addition, she provides legal advice to clients concerning marriage or relationship breakdown, drafts pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, separation deeds and divorce agreements, and assists to delete non-biological father’s name on birth certificate. Ms Ngan is also experienced in handling void marriage petition, unreasonable behavior divorce petitions, litigation regarding the validity of the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), applying for Guardianship Order, Debt-related legal advices, employees’ violations of fiduciary duties such as conflict of interests and breach of confidentiality, applications for Dependent Visas, Company, Shares and Property transfers Due Diligence Check, Building Mortgages, Re-mortgage of public housing flats/HOS units, handling landlord-tenant dispute cases, Adverse Possession, cases involving investigations by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Immigration Department or Police Force, traffic crime cases, criminal defense or mitigation, probate application for Hong Kong residents who have died outside Hong Kong, civil litigation and debt claims, etc.
If necessary, you can also apply for legal aid. Ms. Ngan is a member of the Legal Aid Department Penal for Criminal, Divorce/Family Law, Employees’ Compensation, Personal Injury, Medical Negligence, and Land Disputes. If legal aid is approved, the aided person has the right to choose a lawyer to represent.