Hong Kong’s High Court Allows Appeal by the Government: Citizens will remain restricted from Civic Square

The High Court’s Appeals Division issued a written judgement on Feb 14, allowing the government’s appeal for their restrictions for the east wing of the government quarters commonly known as the “Civic Square”, or literally a square for all civilians.

On the eve of Umbrella Movement in July of 2014, dozens of civilians attempted to enter the Square in a rally in protest of the government’s issurance of funding to develop the northeastern New Territories of Hong Kong.

The authorities have since closed off the Square and had fences installed. Citizens are banned from entering from Monday to Saturday, whereas on Sundays and public holidays, citizens will have to apply and get an approval to use the space for any rally or activities.

Cheung Tak-wing, a retired photographer believes that these measures have restricted the freedom of speech and assembly of Hong Kong citizens. He submitted a judicial review in 2014, and judge Thomas Au Hing-Cheung of the High Court ruled against the government-imposed restrictions on the area in 2018.

However, the Department of Justice later appealed.

The High Court’s Appeals Division issued a ruling on 14 Feb allowing the government’s appeal and Cheung will be required to pay the cost.

The Chief Judge of the High Court Jeremy Poon Shiu-chor, Vice-President of the Court of Appeal of the High Court, Johnson Lam and Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal of the High Court Justice Aarif Tyebjee Barma unanimously ruled that the Administration Department’s appeal was allowed, referring to the constitutional measures of the Administration Wing are helpful in order to maintain the “orderly operation of the legislative building”.

Source: Stand News

Contributor: GM02

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