5Solicitor v Law Society of Hong Kong(2008), theCourt of Final Appeal (Bokhary PJ):‘Only two standards of proof are known to our law.One isproof beyond reasonable doubtand the otherproof on a preponderance of probability. The strengthoftheevidenceneededtoestablishsuchapreponderancedependsontheseriousnessandtherefore inherent improbabilityof the allegation to beproved’.•Civil Courts of the HKSAR•The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal•Court of Appeal•Court of First Instance•Competition Tribunal•District Court•Lands, Labour and Small Claims Tribunal•Magistrates’ Courts are empowered to enforce civil debts•A plaintiff pursuing a claim of less than$3 millionmaychoose to pursue it inwhich two courts?910
6•Sources of civil litigation rules:•Primary legislation(e.g., the High Court Ordinance (Cap.4)).•Subsidiary legislation(e.g., Rules of the High Court (Cap.4A)).•Case law•Practice books (such as Hong Kong Civil Procedure, commonlyknown as the ‘White Book’)•Practice Directions•Official statements of interpretative guidance of the ChiefJustice or a specialist judge for his specialist list, which tellparties and lawyers what the court expects of them in legalproceedingsAdversarialism in Civil Litigation 1112
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7•Adversarial Litigation•The traditional adversarial trial is acompetitive processencouraging lawyers to discover evidence thoroughly,and identify the flaws in the other side’s evidence moreaggressively than in a system where the judge is thediscoverer.•A court’s duty is toweigh uptherelative strengthof theparties’ arguments and evidence against the law and itsevidentiary standards.•Assessing Adversarial Litigation•Adversariallitigationhasbeenlikenedto‘trenchwarfare’.•Adversarialismincentivisestheopposinglawyerstopresent their cases in a way that has given rise totacticalmanipulation.•Judicial non-interventionism allows abuses by lawyerswith excessive, unnecessary interlocutory applicationsand appeals, causingundue delay and high legal costs;denying access to justice to poorer litigantsand wastingdisproportionate money and man-hours.1314