A CRIMINAL trial did not go ahead yesterday after an administrative blunder resulted in the judge failing to turn up at court. Witnesses, lawyers, police, court staff and defendants were left in limbo as the clerk for Judge Barbara Chan made desperate efforts to locate her. It emerged that the missing judge was an innocent party in the farcical affair. She had been told by administrators that the trial would not start until Monday and had no idea her name appeared on yesterday's District Court list. While efforts were being made to find her, Judge Chan was making final arrangements for her move from the Supreme Court, where she has been sitting as a Master. Ironically, she was also carrying out preparatory work on the District Court trial. A spokesman for the Judiciary said: 'There was a breakdown in the chain of communication. Through some misunderstanding the case was listed before her today.' The incident comes amid a concerted judicial push to improve efficiency in Hong Kong's courts.