Community & Education Hong Kong Law & Crime

Scope of HKU injunction narrowed to only cover contents of Council meetings starting from June

The High Court has decided that the injunction applied for by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) prohibiting the publication of leaked recordings of a closed-door governing Council meeting will continue until the next hearing. However, the scope of the injunction has been narrowed to only cover the content of meetings starting from June 30 2015.

high court

Photo: HKFP.

On Friday afternoon, the judge ruled that the injunction will only prevent recordings and documents of council meetings in the period of June 30 to November 6 from being published. Those who breach the terms of the injunction will be brought in as second defendants to the case.

Public domain exception
With regards to the two recordings featuring speeches made by Council members Arthur Li Kwok-cheung and Leonie Ki Man-fung during the meeting on September 29 already published by Commercial Radio last week, as well as comments made by student leader Billy Fung Jing-en following the meeting that day, they will be included under the public domain exception and their publication will not be bound by the injunction. The idea of “public domain” is also understood to extend beyond Hong Kong.

The court will adjourn on November 24.

Arthur Li at a HKU Council meeting in July.

Arthur Li at a HKU Council meeting in July. File Photo: Apple Daily.

Last Friday, HKU obtained an interim injunction, forcing Commercial Radio to remove recordings of speeches by the two Council members during a controversial session on September 29 in which the governing body rejected the appointment of former HKU law dean Johannes Chan Man-mun as pro-vice-chancellor of the university. The interim injunction has drawn widespread criticism, with seven media unions protesting the decision and starting an online petition. On Thursday, Commercial Radio and HKU reached a consensus in the High Court, with Commercial Radio agreeing not to republish the two leaked recordings of the Council meeting.

Scope of HKU injunction narrowed to only cover contents of Council meetings starting from June