Attention: This overview is issued by the secretary of the Drainage Appeal Board Panel for general reference only and should not be regarded as a complete or authoritative statement of law or practice of the Appeal Board. It is not intended to provide any legal or other professional advice. The secretary of the Drainage Appeal Board Panel shall not be held responsible for any error or omission in the contents of this overview. If you require advice on the law or practice of the Drainage Appeal Board, you should consult your lawyers or any other persons who are qualified to give the advice you required.

An electronic database of the Land Drainage Ordinance and its regulations is available on the Internet at A copy of the Land Drainage Ordinance and its regulations is also available for public reference in Hong Kong public libraries. For details, please consult the Hong Kong public libraries.

This overview is issued by the secretary of the Drainage Appeal Board Panel for general reference of readers who are interested in the operation of the Drainage Appeal Board Panel, including those who intend to lodge appeal pursuant to Part V of the Land Drainage Ordinance, Chapter 446 of the Laws of Hong Kong ("the Ordinance").

The Drainage Appeal Board Panel ("the Appeal Board Panel") is an independent statutory body established under section 29 of the Ordinance. There are at present 6 panel members in the Appeal Board Panel including the Chairman and five Members. All panel members are appointed by the Chief Executive.

On receipt of an application for a review under section 8(1) or a notice of appeal under section 28(1), the Drainage Appeal Board ("the Board") shall be nominated under section 30 of the of the Ordinance. The Board shall consist of at least 3 members, of whom one shall be Chairman of the Board and one shall be a registered professional engineer in the civil, geotechnical or structural engineering discipline, shall be present

  1. (a)in every proceeding before the Board relating to a review and to determine the review; or
  2. (b)to hear and determine an appeal.


Any person aggrieved by a decision, requirement, or determination of the Drainage Authority under section 18, 20(1), 21(1), 26 or 27 may appeal to the Board by sending a notice of appeal to the secretary of the Panel within 21 days after notification of the Drainage Authority’s decision, requirement or determination.

Upon receipt of a notice of appeal, the secretary of the Appeal Board Panel shall fix a time and place for the hearing of the appeal, which shall be a date not more than 2 months of the receipt of such notice and shall give at least 14 days’ notice thereof to the appellant and the Drainage Authority.

The appellant and the Drainage Authority may appear before the Board in person, where applicable, or by an authorized representative.

If the appellant, the Drainage Authority or their authorized representative fails to appear on the date set for the hearing of an appeal, the Board may adjourn the hearing or proceed to hear any other party entitled to appear and may make its decision without hearing the absent party.

At the completion of the hearing of an appeal against the Drainage Authority's decision under section 18 of the Ordinance, the Board may -

  1. (a)confirm the decision appealed against; or
  2. (b)order the Drainage Authority to make such alterations in connection with the proposed works as the Board thinks fit.

At the completion of the hearing of any appeal against the Drainage Authority’s requirement or determination under section 20(1), 21(1), 26 or 27 of the Ordinance, the Board may confirm, reverse or vary the requirement or determination appealed against.


Sections 28(6) and 28(7) of the Ordinance stipulate that hearing of an appeal shall be held in public unless the Drainage Appeal Board Panel directs otherwise after consulting the parties to the appeal.

For the purpose of proceedings before it, the Drainage Appeal Board is empowered to -

  1. (a)receive and consider any material, whether, by way of oral evidence, written statements, documents or otherwise, whether or not such material would be admissible in evidence in civil or criminal proceedings;
  2. (b)by notice in writing signed by the chairman of the Board, require any person to appear before it at any proceedings and to give evidence and produce documents;
  3. (c)administer oaths and affirmations;
  4. (d)examine on oath or affirmation any person attending before it at any proceedings;
  5. (e)order the inspection of any land within a Drainage Authority Area by the Drainage Authority and authorize the entry on and viewing of such land.

A witness before the Board shall be entitled to the same immunities and privileges as if he were a witness in proceedings before the Court of First Instance.

Determination of Appeal

Section 31(2) of the Ordinance provides that (a) every question shall be determined by the opinion of the majority of the Chairman of the Board and the members of the present in the review or the appeal; and (b) where there is an equality of votes the Chairman shall have a casting vote.