Legislative Council oath-taking saga

‘All Hong Kong lawmakers should retake oaths’: litigious former civil servant files legal bid to restart process

Kwok Cheuk-kin files application saying Legislative Council president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen and secretary general Kenneth Chen Wei-on had failed in their duties

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 August, 2017, 2:28pm
UPDATED : Monday, 14 August, 2017, 10:37pm

A former civil servant known for taking the Hong Kong government to court has applied for a fresh judicial review in a bid to restart the oath-taking process for all lawmakers in the Legislative Council.

Kwok Cheuk-kin said in an application filed to High Court on Monday that all oaths administered on October 12 last year should be declared invalid because the administrators, Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen and secretary general Kenneth Chen Wei-on, had misconducted themselves in the ceremony.

“The two have failed to adhere to the Basic Law and the law in reminding all persons taking the oath to abide by legal requirements,” Kwok said outside court.

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“[Leung and Chen] did not even know the rules oath takers should follow, until there was an interpretation by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (China’s top legislative body) ... how can they exercise their duties?”

The latest application from the “king of judicial reviews” – as Kwok is known to many – came a month after the same court disqualified four more lawmakers for improper oaths. Last year, two localist lawmakers were also unseated in an unprecedented legal challenge brought about by the previous administration.

In November last year, Beijing’s top legislature laid down the law on Legco oath-taking, requiring all public officials to take their oaths “sincerely” and “solemnly” or face disqualification. The move paved the way for the first of the lawmaker disqualifications.

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Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, both from localist party Youngspiration, have since filed appeals and their applications for leave to appeal will be heard at the Court of Final Appeal on August 25.

Meanwhile, “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, one of four lawmakers disqualified in July, said on Monday that he had been granted legal aid to handle his appeal.

The deadline for the other three recently unseated lawmakers – Edward Yiu Chung-yim, Lau Siu-lai and Nathan Law Kwun-chung – to lodge appeals is September 11.