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Thursday, December 15, 2016, 15:28

High Court to hear judicial review plea in Feb

By Carrie Qiu

HONG KONG - Hong Kong's High Court is set to hear between Feb 6 and 10 a petition for judicial review of the eligibility of four lawmakers.

Judge Au Hing-cheung decided this Thursday. The SAR government had moved court, questioning the legality of the manner in which four lawmakers - Lau Siu-lai , Yiu Chung-yim, Law Kwun-chung and Leung Kwok-hung - had taken oath on Oct 12, 2016.

Hong Kong's High Court is set to hear between Feb 6 and 10 a petition for judicial review of the eligibility of four lawmakers

Justice Au, after hearing arguments from both sides, said the case involved significant public interest and should not be too drawn out. He said 8 weeks should be enough for the four legislators in question to seek legal support.

Benjamin Yu Yuk-hoi, representing the government, said an earlier court decision to disqualify two separatists lawmakers could be treated as a precedent.

On Nov 15, the High Court disqualified Yau Wai-ching and Leung Chung-hang for refusing to take the oath in a stipulated manner and violating the Basic Law. Their seats were subsequently vacated. The Court of Appeal upheld the lower court’s decision on Nov 30.

At the time of taking the oath, Lau had deliberately prolonged the oath by pausing for around six seconds before uttering every word in the stipulated text. As Lau openly admitted later over social media, she had done this deliberately to show disrespect. The other three lawmakers, either strayed from the stipulated oath by interpolating their political views, or used strange tones when swearing allegiance to the SAR and the country as required by the Basic Law.

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