Long Hair no more: Jailed lawmaker Leung plans legal challenge after prison haircut

Jailed lawmaker loses his trademark locks but plans legal challenge over 'hair discrimination'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 June, 2014, 4:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 June, 2014, 12:36pm

Jailed lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung may be unable to lay claim to the moniker "Long Hair" for some time, but he plans to challenge the loss of his crowning glory in a judicial review, the High Court has heard.

Leung's locks were shorn after a night in prison, following his failed bid on Monday to overturn his 2012 convictions for criminal damage and disorderly behaviour the year before.

He vowed to fight for the right to his hair, while at the same time preparing another appeal to clear his name. The legislator could not secure bail yesterday and will remain behind bars for now.

Barrister Martin Lee Chu-ming SC, representing Leung, disclosed his client's intention to seek a judicial review over his hair. Lee argued it was unfair that the Correctional Services Department allowed female inmates, but not men, to keep long hair.

"Are you serious?" Mr Justice Derek Pang Wai-cheong replied with a laugh. Lee confirmed they would seek a court review over "hair discrimination", saying the application was ready.

In March 2012, Leung was found guilty of two charges of criminal damage and two of disorderly behaviour during a public forum at the Science Museum, Tsim Sha Tsui, on September 1, 2011. The forum was held to discuss plans to scrap Legislative Council by-elections.

On Monday, Pang upheld Leung's convictions for damaging a wooden door and causing disturbance at the forum. But he quashed another conviction for disorderly behaviour and lowered Leung's two-month sentence to four weeks, to be served immediately.

Lee yesterday argued that Pang had adopted a different base from the trial judge in looking into Leung's convictions.

Pang insisted this was not the case and rejected both of Leung's applications - for bail and for permission to appeal against his convictions.

Outside court, a member of Leung's legal team said they would seek bail and permission to appeal at the Court of Final Appeal soon. They would also apply for the judicial review and ask the department director to let Leung attend Legco sessions.

In the meantime, the man at the centre of the legal challenge did not let a jail term get him down. While walking back to the cell, Leung reminded the roughly 100 supporters in court to take part in the "June 22 referendum", without elaborating.