Legal Trivia Quiz #41

Hong Kong has a bilingual legal system. But, in fact, remnants of a third language, Latin, can still be heard in the courts and can find their way into judgments and submissions. This month, we test readers’ knowledge of arcane Latin terms. We ask readers to remember quidquid latine dictum sit altum viditur.

The questions have been prepared by Douglas Clark, Barrister. Suggestions for questions to appear in next month’s journal are most welcome.

1. What is the literal translation of res ipsa loquitur?

A. The action is so located
B. The thing speaks for itself
C. Obviously negligent

2. In order to be found guilty of most criminal offences it is necessary for the accused to have had both the actus reus and what?

A. Mala advocatus
B. Morbus animi
C. Mens rea

3. What does “inter alia” mean?

A. Among other things
B. Among all
C. Between allies

4. When a hearing is held in camera, it is:

A. Held in public
B. Held in private
C. Televised

5. What does the Latin word lex mean?

A. King
B. It is short for Lexington, a Roman Emperor.
C. Law

6. In what area of the law is the Latin maxim animus possidendi used?

A. Animal protection laws
B. Land law
C. Shipping law

7. What does the phrase non est factum mean?

A. The fact has not been proved
B. No is a fact
C. It is not my deed

8. If a judge suggests to you an argument is a tabula in naufragio?

A. She is complementing your ingenuity
B. She thinks your argument is hopeless
C. She is asking to you prepare a table setting out your grounds

9. When a judicial officer is functus officio, it means:

A. He has officially taken up his duties
B. He has died in office
C. He no longer has power to deal with a matter

10. What does habeas corpus literally mean?

A. That you have the body
B. Produce the body
C. Show the corpse

Contest Rules: To be eligible to win a bottle of Ch. La Croizille 2007 from Global Vintage Wines Centre, please send your quiz question answers to The first reader to respond with the most correct answers, with no more than 3 incorrect responses, will be deemed the winner. The decision of Thomson Reuters regarding the winner is final and conclusive.

Answers to Legal Trivia Quiz #40

  1. C. Prior to the handover in 1997, the official title of the Director of Public Prosecutions was Crown Prosecutor, although he was almost invariably referred to as the DPP.
  2. B. The DPP is not required to be a senior counsel (or Queen’s Counsel).
  3. B. Warwick Reid was convicted of having unexplained assets.
  4. A. True. In the 19th Century the Attorney General of Hong Kong was permitted to accept private cases.
  5. A. Private prosecutions may be brought for all offences in Hong Kong.
  6. C. Prior to the handover in 1997, public prosecutions were brought in the name of the Queen (or King).
  7. C. The Australian prosecutors in Hong Kong in the 1980s were referred to as the Gumleaf Mafia.B
  8. B. Four Hong Kong DPPs have become High Court Judges (Duffy, Findlay, Nguyen and Zervos JJ).
  9. D. Lay prosecutors are still permitted to prosecute cases in the Magistrates’ Court.
  10. C. David Perry QC was the lead prosecutor of Donald Tsang.

Correction to Answers to Legal Trivia Quiz #39

  10. C. Jury trials are not available in civil proceedings for sedition.



Mr. Clark is a barrister (and former solicitor) practising in Hong Kong. His practice focuses primarily on intellectual property and related areas.  From September 2016, he has been appointed an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong to teach the IP LLM course. Mr. Clark is General Editor and a co-author ofIntellectual Property Rights: Hong Kong SAR and the People’s Republic of China and author of Patent Litigation in China. He has also published a history of British and American extraterritoriality in China, Gunboat Justice