1. Does the Court of First Instance of the High Court (not the Court of Appeal) also have the authority to hear appeal cases?
Yes. The Court of First Instance functions as an appeal court for cases heard in the Labour Tribunal, the Small Claims Tribunal, the Obscene Articles Tribunal and the Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board (which handles employment claims involving not more than 10 claimants for a sum of money not exceeding $8,000 per claimant).
The party concerned should file an Application for Leave (permission) to Appeal with the Clerk of Court's Office within the time limit specified in the respective Ordinances. This form is available from the Resource Centre for Unrepresented Litigants situated in the High Court Building, Clerk of Court's Office, or from the Registries of the respective Tribunals or Board.
The appeal hearing will be heard by a judge of the Court of First Instance. If permission to appeal is granted, the parties will be informed in writing. The party making the appeal will then need to file a Notice of Originating Motion with a prescribed fee to be paid. They will be invited to the Clerk of Court's Office to fix a date for hearing the appeal.
If the judge of the Court of First Instance refuses to grant leave to appeal, that decision is final.
A party who fails to lodge an appeal within the time limit may apply to the Registrar of the High Court for leave to appeal out of time. The applicants must have substantial reasons and the decision of the Registrar is final.