Hong Kong Politics & Protest

Justice Sec: Legal challenges filed against lawmakers are unrelated to Beijing’s ruling

The Department of Justice will decide soon whether to file judicial reviews against other lawmakers according to the principles of the court’s ruling on the Youngspiration case, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung said on Thursday. He denied that such legal challenges were related to Beijing’s recent ruling that oaths must be accurate and solemn.

Rimsky Yuen

Rimsky Yuen. File Photo: Chantal Yuen/HKFP.

Two Youngspiration politicians were disqualified as lawmakers after the justice department filed a judicial review on behalf of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying last month. The pair caused offence following their controversial conduct during the swearing-in session at the legislature.

When asked about reports that the justice department will lodge a legal challenge against localist lawmaker Lau Siu-lai, Yuen said that any follow-up action would have nothing to do with Beijing’s recent interpretation of Basic Law Article 104. Hong Kong courts have the capacity to handle the case, he said, and local laws such as the Oaths and Declarations Ordinance already include relevant legal principles to lodge a challenge.

Lau Siu-lai

Lau Siu-lai. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

Yuen also said that “there will be no political considerations, and we will not try to gain advantages in LegCo through our follow up action.”

Yuen refused to comment on how many lawmakers will likely face legal challenges.

Last month, Lau read her oath in slow motion over a period of almost ten minutes. She later said on social media that the purpose was to deprive the pledge of its meaning by reading out each word in isolation. The oath on October 12 was rejected by LegCo president Andrew Leung, who gave Lau another chance to retake the oath. Lau took the second oath on November 2 at a normal speed and it was accepted.

Justice Sec: Legal challenges filed against lawmakers are unrelated to Beijing's ruling