Mask ban ruling must be 'rectified': Tam Yiu-chung - RTHK
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Mask ban ruling must be 'rectified': Tam Yiu-chung

2019-11-19 HKT 12:34
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  • The government is considering what to do next after the High Court ruled that the emergency mask ban law is unconstitutional. Image: Shutterstock
    The government is considering what to do next after the High Court ruled that the emergency mask ban law is unconstitutional. Image: Shutterstock
Hong Kong's member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), Tam Yiu-chung, said on Tuesday that he is "shocked" by the High Court ruling that the government's anti-mask law is unconstitutional, saying the decision is
"inappropriate" and "in need of rectification".

Tam said one of two things have to happen now, either the case is taken to the Court of Final Appeal or Beijing should make an interpretation of the Basic Law.

He added that the NPCSC will meet in late December, and members may discuss whether such an interpretation is needed.

Tam's comment comes after China's top legislative affairs body criticised the High Court ruling, insisting that only the national legislature can make rulings on constitutionality issues in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said her administration would continue to monitor developments and consider what to do next regarding Monday's court judgement.

Addressing the media before Tuesday's Executive Council meeting, Lam said many of the government’s actions have been challenged by way of judicial review in the past, and the authorities have always respected the court’s decisions.

She added that she can’t comment on the mask ban at this point.

On Monday, the government said the ban on wearing masks at any kind of assembly will no longer be enforced in light of the High Court ruling that the law is excessive.

Executive councillor Ronny Tong, who’s also a barrister, said he hopes Beijing will not resort to an interpretation, saying that could trigger a serious backlash from both the Hong Kong society and the international community at such a sensitive time for the SAR.

He told RTHK in a telephone interview that it would be better to leave the matter in the hands of the Court of Final Appeal.