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Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 01:55

Judge accepts application for judicial review

By Luis Liu
Judge accepts application for judicial review
A group of veteran soldiers send a letter of complaint on Tuesday to the Equal Opportunities Commission in strong condemnation of the insulting language lawmakers-elect Yau Wing-ching and Sixtus Leung Chung-hang used when taking their oaths last Wednesday. (Roy Liu/China Daily)

HONG KONG - A High Court judge accepted the application for a judicial review by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday night, which argued that the two lawmakers-elect who used insulting language during the swearing-in ceremony had already violated oath-taking laws and should be barred from retaking the oath.

However, the judge refused to grant the DOJ’s another application for an injunction to stop relevant lawmakers-elect from retaking their oaths - scheduled to take place in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

A High Court judge accepted the application for a judicial review by the Department of Justice, which argued that two localist lawmakers-elect should be barred from retaking the oath

The DOJ’s move was taken against separatist lawmakers-elect Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Leung Chung-hang.

The two disgraced lawmakers-elect have triggered a public outcry since Oct 12 when they used “Shina”, a derogatory term used by Japanese militarists to name China during World War II, instead of the original text of the LegCo oath. Yau even used foul language when reading the country’s full name in English.

Justice Thomas Au Hing-cheung said the sole argument of the case rested on whether the pair’s actions constituted a refusal or neglecting to take the oath, and whether they had already violated the Oaths and Declarations Ordinance.Au will start the hearing on Nov 3.

This means the pair will still take oath again on Wednesday, while they will face a legal challenge in two weeks’ time.

According to Article 104 of the Basic Law, when assuming office, LegCo members must, in accordance with the law, swear to uphold the Basic Law and swear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.

The DOJ’s representative, Senior Counsel Johnny Mok Shiu-luen, said Yau and Leung had deliberately refused to swear allegiance to the SAR.

The legal action was the first time the government has sought to disqualify elected lawmakers in Hong Kong.

LegCo President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen was a co-defendant on Tuesday as Andrew Leung made the decision to allow Yau and Sixtus Leung to take their oaths today.

The DOJ hopes the judge will rule that the relevant lawmakers-elect had already “declined or neglected” to take the oath, which will result in disqualification of their LegCo membership, according to Section 21 of the Oaths and Declarations Ordinance.

The judicial review was filed just hours after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said he will take follow-up action against the two lawmakers for altering their oaths.

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