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III. How to start a civil action

If, after considering all the relevant factors as mentioned in Part II, you decide to take your dispute to court for resolution, there are still some other matters that you must also pay attention to.


If you have to start a civil action, you should first consider the nature of your claim and the amount involved. You can then work out the appropriate court in which to start your action. For example, if your claim involves an employment dispute, then generally, you should start your claim in the Labour Tribunal.


Different courts have different authority to handle different kinds of civil cases and therefore it is essential to have some basic understanding of the authority of each court. These courts include the Labour Tribunal, the Small Claims Tribunal, the District Court and the Court of First Instance of the High Court.


Please note that the first four questions (see below) describe the different authority of the major civil courts and tribunals in Hong Kong. The other questions cover legal procedures involved in these courts/tribunals and other general matters.