訴訟行為:互通訊息撤銷訴訟 – 唔……互通訊息協定訟費評定呢?

「本席認為,收款方不可違背付款方的意願,強逼他跟自己一起花時間和訟費『在往來的訊息協定訟費評定』,以達成一個「經雙方同意的」金額。這是老生常談,而且很有道理」

- 區域法院法官陳錦泉

訴訟是兩方對峙打官司,但可不是「堅持總比不堅持好」。在民事司法制度改革後的年代,堅持訴訟通常適得其反──畢竟,訴訟不是世界級摔角冠軍爭奪戰。一個好的訴訟人具備一些特質,主要包括對訴訟程序有一定的認識,而且有合理及明智地行事的能力。

PC Enterprises (HK) Limited and Anor v Chan Wai Ching [2020] HKDC 722一案說明訴訟人不具備這些特質的結果。在該案,法庭提醒訴訟方要明智並且合理地行事,與改革的基本目標保持一致。

這宗案涉及審訊超時,結果擇日續審。

當其時被告人因為工作關係,需要長期出差前往中國內地。延期聆訊的日期擇定後,她接到指示須返回內地,時間上撞了期。被告人發出傳票(據推測是在訴訟雙方未能達成協議之後)和支持誓章,要求法庭再次押後聆訊,另擇日期續審(「延期聆訊的傳票」)。

然而,雙方還未就被告人的延期聆訊的傳票提出爭辯之前(以及在任何反對延期的證據存檔之前),被告人被解僱,因此能夠出席原審所定的審訊。

被告人的大律師立即發電郵給原告人的大律師,要求對方全面停止不做與延期聆訊的傳票有關的工作;並就撤銷傳票一事致函原告人的律師,徵求原告人的同意,同時在信中表明被告人願意支付訟費,如雙方未能就訟費達成協議,則由法庭評定。

原告人的律師回覆,他們可以同意撤銷傳票,但「條件是以簡易方法評定該次申請的訟費及所引起的費用為港幣124,000元,金額即時支付(「原告人的要求」)。

雙方沒有就這個要求達成協議,事件被帶上法庭,法庭裁定:

「原告人無權堅持以被告人支付訟費港幣124,000元作為同意撤銷傳票的條件。再者,經簡易程序評定訟費是法庭釐定訟費金額的程序,因此,『以簡易方法評定』在此是毫無意義的。況且,港幣124,000元明顯過高。」

有趣的是,法庭稱原告人是努力「互通訊息協定訟費評定」(taxation by correspondence)。

當雙方嘗試協定訟費金額的時候,原告人「要求」被告人實質回應他們的訟費陳述書,被告人回應,訟費應由法庭評定,雙方不應再花時間和訟費去爭論訟費問題。

在這方面,法庭認為在民事司法制度改革以後,「訴訟雙方應當明智並合理地行事,與基本目標保持一致」,更指出「收款方不可強逼付款方花時間和訟費『在往來的訊息協定訟費評定』,以達成一個經雙方同意的金額。」

因為經簡易程序評定訟費是法庭釐定訟費金額的程序,「在條件之中把訟費標籤為『以簡易方法評定』是多此一舉,毫無意義」,所以原告人磋商時態度強硬,注定只會失敗告終。「因此,原告人提出的條件實在只是直接要求對方同意並即時支付訟費港幣124,000元。」

結果:「原告人須支付給被告人延期聆訊的傳票自2020年8月4日引致的訟費及附帶費用,以及撤銷傳票的訟費,如雙方未能就訟費達成協議,則由法庭評定。」

倘若原告人當時行事合理一點,原本可以把訟費問題處理妥當。雙方有共同責任縮窄爭議的問題。

因此,處理這件事的恰當方法是:

(i) 同意任何可以協定的事。

(ii) 凡雙方能夠就訟費達成協議,把協定的訟費恰當地標籤為「經雙方同意的訟費」。

(iii) 凡雙方未能就訟費達成協議,提出恰當的申請。

(iv) 堅持不是總比不堅持好(特別是在訴訟之中)。

(v) 促進和諧(總是比較好)。

值得一提的是,基本目標可不是一堆抽象的原則,它旨在推動改革民事訴訟的文化(《香港民事訴訟程序》2020年第1A/0/3段)。

應用: 既然聆訊原本可以撤銷,傳票原本可以撤銷,律師不應浪費法庭資源。律師應時刻明智地回應對方的建議,同時避免無意義的通訊往來,以防招致不必要的訟費。

Jurisdictions

Head of Financial Crime, London, England, United Kingdom


Andrew Wheeler QC is head of the Financial Crime (Fraud, Financial Services and Regulatory) Team at 7BR Chambers, London, and is ranked in financial crime/fraud by the Legal 500 and by Chambers & Partners


Andrew has extensive experience in relation to the defence and prosecution of serious fraud, associated money laundering and proceeds of crime restraint/confiscation, and compliance/regulatory matters – and has a detailed knowledge of evidence gathering from, and asset tracing through, multiple jurisdictions. Andrew is regularly instructed by leading defence firms, by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Insolvency Service, Financial Conduct Authority  (FCA) and CPS Complex Casework/Specialist Fraud Division.


His experience extends in particular to Bribery & Corruption, Company Investigations, Insolvency and Tax fraud, and to issues of Insider Dealing. He regularly advises the UK and offshore & International sectors in respect of financial crime, anti-money laundering and associated regulatory & compliance issues.


Andrew has conducted seminars in respect of Money Laundering/AML – in the UK, including specifically for the UK Serious Fraud Office & UK Insolvency Service – and also for a number of offshore and international jurisdictions, including the Caribbean, Hong Kong, Cyprus, the Channel Islands & the Isle of Man. He has also conducted seminars in a number of jurisdictions in respect of key aspects of digital fraud investigations, cyber crime and cryptocurrency, and internal/corporate investigations.


Andrew is qualified to accept instructions direct from clients under the Bar Council’s Public Access Scheme. This means that members of the public who seek specialist advice can come direct to him. In addition, he welcomes instructions from solicitors, in-house law departments, qualified foreign lawyers, and clients licensed by the Bar Council to give instructions direct to barristers under the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Scheme

In addition to his financial crime work, Andrew has had significant involvement in general crime, and has been instructed to defend in cases involving murder, attempted murder and other offences against the person, drugs, firearms, health and safety and sexual offences.

Central London Chambers