The Department of Justice has applied for leave for a judicial review in an effort to overrule the Legislative Council president’s decision to allow two Youngspiration politicians to retake their oaths as lawmakers.

In an email seen by HKFP, Phyllis Wong, the Department of Justice’s Senior Assistant Law Officer who acts on behalf of the Chief Executive and the Justice Secretary, told Yau Wai-ching of Youngspiration about an urgent inter-party hearing to be held before the High Court on Tuesday.

Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching. File photo: HKFP

Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chun-hang, the party’s other democratically-elected lawmaker, also received the message.

Update: LegCo pres. says he opposes gov’t legal bid to ban localist lawmakers from retaking oaths

In response, he wrote “bring it on” on his Facebook account, whilst Yau said that she would not surrender.

department of justice

‘Positive relationship’ 

Earlier on Tuesday, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said he worked hard to foster a positive relationship between the administration and the legislature.

“We will closely monitor how the [oath taking] situation will develop today, and will take action when necessary,” he said.

The move comes ahead of Wednesday’s session at the legislature when five lawmakers are set to re-take their oaths.

Yau Wai-ching unfurls flag at LegCo. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

Last week, Baggio Leung and Yau’s oaths were rejected by the LegCo secretary-general. Both pronounced China as “chee-na,” which some took as an insult to Chinese people, whilst Yau seemingly pronounced “republic” as “refucking” in the phrase “People’s Republic of China.” They also displayed a banner which read “Hong Kong is not China.”

On Tuesday afternoon, the pair wrote to LegCo President Andrew Leung to inform him of their request to retake the oaths.

Part of message from Phyllis Wong:

Dear Madam,

We act for the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Secretary for Justice. Please be informed that there will be an urgent inter partes hearing before the Court later today (at a time to be confirmed by the Court) relating to an application for leave to apply for judicial review and an application by way of an originating summons seeking reliefs arising from the decision of the President of the Legislative Council today to allow you to take your oath afresh if you put forward your request in writing.

The relevant papers for the intended applications will be served on you as soon as possible later today.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.