Pan-democratic lawmakers to challenge mask ban - RTHK
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Pan-democratic lawmakers to challenge mask ban

2019-10-05 HKT 21:30
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  • The pro-democracy legislators say the Chief Executive has no right to circumvent Legco when enacting new laws. Photo: RTHK
    The pro-democracy legislators say the Chief Executive has no right to circumvent Legco when enacting new laws. Photo: RTHK
All 24 pan-democratic lawmakers say they will lodge a judicial review to challenge the government's decision to introduce an anti-mask law by triggering the colonial-era Emergency Regulations Ordinance.

The High Court will hear the case at 10am on Sunday.

High Court judge Godfrey Lam had already on Friday night refused democracy activists Lester Shum and Leung Kwok-hung’s application to grant an emergency injunction to halt the mask ban, saying he agreed with the authorities that the city was facing a ‘dire situation” of escalating violence.

Shum and Leung had argued that the mask ban would constitute “disproportionate interference” with the right to peaceful assembly and the freedom of expression.

But legal sector lawmaker Dennis Kwok said he and his colleagues will raise new legal points regarding constitutionality that the court must consider.

“We are legislators and we have a specific locus standi to raise points of constitutional importance including separation of powers, including the role of the Legislative Council and also whether the Chief Executive can really enact any laws that she deem necessary under the Emergency Regulations Ordinance … and we say she doesn’t have such powers, she cannot avoid Legco”, he said.

Council First lawmaker Claudia Mo, meanwhile, likened the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, which gives the Chief Executive sweeping powers, to a “weapon of mass destruction”.