Weekly Review: 28th January – 1st February 2013

Chinese customary law: variation by statute: posthumous adoption

Chinese customary law can be modified by statute. Posthumous adoption is no longer possible in Hong Kong (Liu Ying Lan v Liu Tung Yiu).

Chinese customary trusts; distributions: duty of managers

The manager of a Tso acts reasonably in relying on the records of the Tso before making distributions. There is no duty to conduct a full enquiry as to the membership of the Tso before making a distribution (Tang Chun Kit v Tang Lo Ping).

Estoppel and public policy

An estoppel can operate to modify the application of statutory provisions unless  the law that confronts the estoppel can be seen to represent a social policy to which the court must give effect in the interests of the public generally or some section of the public, despite any rules of evidence as between themselves that the parties may have created by their conduct or otherwise (Kok Hoong v Leong Cheong Kweng Mines Ltd).

Tong / Tso property: ownership

A person is a member of a Tong or Tso while he is alive. His interest does not descend to his son as if it were a case of succession to family property. The membership and ownership interest arise on birth and cease on death (Lee Sun Kiu v Ho Kay Fuk).

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