Case Commentary

Hong Kong Criminal Law — Magistrate makes Dismissal Order for a child offender charged with Indecent Assault

On 1st February 2024, Magistrate Andrew Mok Tze-Chung exercised the Juvenile Court’s discretion under section 15(1)(a) of the Juvenile Offender’s Ordinance (Cap. 226) to make a Dismissal Order and Bind-over Order against a 13-year-old defendant who pleaded guilty to a charge of Indecent Assault.  The making of these Orders means that the child offender will not have a criminal conviction recorded against him, but instead will be put on a bond of good behaviour for a length of time.  The child offender was represented by Randy Shek in HKSAR v YLY in WKCC 700037/2023.

During plea and mitigation, the learned Magistrate considered counsel’s submissions on the applicable legal principles of Dismissal orders, the seriousness of the offence, and the child offender’s culpability.  Notwithstanding the Prosecution’s refusal to seek a Bind-over Order against the child defendant or accept a guilty plea to a lesser charge, the Court was particularly impressed by the child defendant’s exemplary school record, stable and supportive family background, and promising future, factors which persuaded it to adopt this exceptional approach as proposed by counsel.

Dismissal of a child offender’s charge under the Juvenile Offender’s Ordinance is the Juvenile Court’s most lenient and rehabilitation-centric method of disposition because it means that a criminal record will not be formally recorded even where a guilty plea and conviction are entered into the Court. The discretion to make such an order would only be exercised if the Court is satisfied that there are sufficient grounds to adopt an emphatically rehabilitative approach and that the child offender had demonstrated genuine remorse.

Randy Shek was instructed by K B Chau & Co Solicitors.


Randy Shek

“Randy is a highly experienced counsel in the criminal law practice. He offers pragmatic and robust advice to clients and achieves favourable outcomes for them.” — Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2023-2024: Regulatory, Investigations and Crime: Leading Juniors 

Randy’s main areas of practice include criminal law, human rights and civil liberties, and public law.  He also accepts instructions for civil cases involving injunctions, family law, and land law.

While he regularly receives instructions to prosecute on behalf of the Department of Justice, Randy is mainly a criminal defence counsel.  Randy has a long and established track record for defending cases arising from protests, demonstrations and other high profile public order events, which frequently involve human rights and civil liberties dimensions.

Moreover, he is also experienced in handling conventional crime, white collar crime, SFC investigations, and serious crime, including sexual offences and murder.  He has conducted trials and appeals in all court levels, both as led junior and on his own right.

Find out more from Randy’s profile.

This article was first published on 2 February 2024.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice and seeks to set out the general principles of the law. Detailed advice should therefore be sought from a legal professional relating to the individual merits and facts of a particular case. The photographs which appear in this article are included for decorative purposes only and should not be taken as a depiction of any matter to which the case is related. The views and opinions expressed in this article/material are solely those of the members authoring it and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Denis Chang’s Chambers, or of any other member or members of Denis Chang’s Chambers.