Judge says he will decide by tomorrow if the case can proceed The High Court has agreed to hold an early hearing today on whether Leung Kwok-hung has a case in amending the oath at the swearing in of legislators tomorrow. Mr Justice Michael Hartmann said yesterday the case involved public interest and he would shorten the lunch break to make room for the hearing. He said the court would decide by tomorrow morning whether the case should proceed. But even if 'Long Hair' was granted leave to continue the case, a full hearing could not be arranged for seven to 10 days. That means a binding court ruling will not be ready when lawmakers take their oath. Mr Leung, speaking after the brief hearing, would not say if he would still insist on using his own version of the oath. He said he would consider his next step in light of the court decision. 'I'm already a legislator officially. It's not a problem even if I were to defer the oath until all legal proceedings have finished,' he said. Mr Leung wants to add his own words to the official oath, offering allegiance to the people of Hong Kong and the mainland and swearing to fight for democracy and justice and to defend human rights and freedom. The Legco secretariat has told him this does not comply with the law. The official oath pledges to uphold the Basic Law and to swear allegiance to the special administrative region. Mr Leung also submitted different versions of the oath for a court ruling on whether they breached the requirements in the Basic Law and the Oath and Declaration Ordinance. Mr Justice Hartmann told Mr Leung that he had a solemn mandate to represent to interests of a portion of the community. 'There is therefore a real public interest for this matter to be dealt with at the earliest opportunity.' He said he would have the lunch break shortened today so that Mr Leung's case could be heard at 4pm, after he had dealt with another case of public importance. He said he had broad discretion to decide whether leave should be granted. But he stressed only cases that are not 'hopeless' in nature would be allowed to proceed. 'Your hearing will last as long as it takes. It will enable me to consider overnight whether to grant you the leave or not,' he said. The Legco secretariat will also be informed of the case so that it may make representation if necessary, the court heard. Mr Leung said he was satisfied the court had advanced his case on the grounds of public interest.