Compensation for resumption of land — Lands Tribunal proper forum for resolving dispute on amount payable
X was the former owner of part of a property which was resumed for redevelopment by the Government, following which X’s rights in and over the property absolutely ceased pursuant to Section 5 of the Lands Resumption Ordinance (Cap. 124) (“LRO”). X sought leave to apply for judicial review concerning an offer of resumption compensation by the Director of Lands, arguing that inter alia the offer made was not a fair and reasonable assessment.
Held, dismissing the application, that, inter alia:
The proper forum for X to ventilate his arguments was in the Lands Tribunal and not the High Court on an application for judicial review. The property having been resumed, X had no further interest in it. X’s only right and interest was in obtaining proper compensation for the resumption of its property, which was protected by the detailed provisions of the LRO concerning the right enshrined in Article 105 of the Basic Law.
Where X and the Government could not agree on the proper amount of compensation payable, the LRO sets out the machinery for the amount of compensation payable to be determined by the Lands Tribunal applying the LRO. Where a comprehensive system of determination and appeals procedure existed, leave for judicial review would not be granted save in exceptional circumstances.