Date
10 December 2016
Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching may decide to take their case to the Court of Final Appeal. Lau Siu-lai (inset) faces a legal challenge and is at risk of losing her Legco seat. Photos: Reuters, HKEJ
Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching may decide to take their case to the Court of Final Appeal. Lau Siu-lai (inset) faces a legal challenge and is at risk of losing her Legco seat. Photos: Reuters, HKEJ

Disqualified Youngspiration duo eye Court of Final Appeal push

Sixtus Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching are considering seeking a Court of Final Appeal ruling on their disqualification from the Legislative Council.

A decision on their next move will be made in the next couple of days, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

They said they are worried that a further appeal would trigger another interpretation of the Basic Law by China’s legislature.

On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal of the High Court ruled against them, upholding the latter’s Nov. 15 ruling that barred them from taking their Legco seats.

It followed a ruling by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee effectively disqualifying them from taking office after they had insulted China and improperly read their oaths at their Oct. 12 swearing-in.

Andrew Cheung, chief Judge of the High Court, said in his ruling that Beijing’s law interpretation earlier gave “the true meaning” of Article 104 of the Basic Law that requires legislators-elect to take their oaths in a proper manner.

The court’s duty to apply the Basic Law outweighed the principle of separation of powers, the judge said, adding that there is no dispute that Yau and Leung had declined to take the oath according to the law.

Eric Cheung Tat-ming, a principal lecturer in the University of Hong Kong, said the ruling by the Court of Appeal suggested that several other lawmakers-elect who are also considered to have failed to take their oaths properly are at risk of being disqualified.

One of them is independent Lau Siu-lai, founder of Democracy Groundwork, who retook her oath Nov. 2 after her first oath-taking on Oct. 12 was invalidated when she took long pauses between words.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said it plans to launch a legal challenge to effectively bar Lau from the legislature on behalf of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying as soon as this weekend or early next week.

Calling the coming move political persecution, Lau accused Lam of doing everything he can to get reelected.

Democratic Party legislator James To said the DOJ’s application for judicial review on Lau’s qualification does not only concern her but also challenge all citizens who support the pan-democratic camp.

Legco President Andrew Leung said he has no idea if there are other lawmakers being targeted by the DOJ.

[Chinese version 中文版]

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