The High Court on Thursday rejected an appeal application from a citizen who earlier lodged a judicial review over the oaths taken by opposition lawmakers Eddie Chu and Cheng Chung-tai during their swearing-in ceremony.
Applicant Lo King-yeung’s judicial review action was earlier suspended after he failed to pay the HK$20,000 deposit required by the High Court. Lo’s pro-Beijing counsel Lawrence Ma had argued that that it was because his client was unfamiliar with legal procedures.
However, Justice Thomas Au said that the applicant caused unreasonable delays and ordered him to pay the legal costs of the defendants.
Lo then applied for an appeal. Justice Thomas Au on Thursday rejected his application, stressing again that Lo caused unreasonable delay and there was no reason for the appeal court to hear his arguments.
Lo argued that lawmakers have to sign to confirm their oaths before the ceremony is completed. He said that this was a new argument which warranted a discussion on constitutional matters – thus, the court should grant his appeal application.
However, Au said that Lo was merely repeating the legal procedure, adding that he failed to make such an argument in first instance, Ming Pao reported.
The court earlier disqualified six lawmakers over their oath-taking ceremonies. During the ceremony in the legislative chamber last October, Chu shouted “democratic self-determination, tyranny will end,” while Cheng said: “a constitution by all people, make a new covenant.”
The oath-taking cases triggered a controversial interpretation of the Basic Law by Beijing last November, which retroactively stipulated how legislators should have taken their oaths.