The two ousted Youngspiration lawmakers have applied to the Court of Final Appeal over their disqualifications. They are hoping to hire a prominent British lawyer to represent them, alongside a local Senior Counsel.

The High Court last month rejected the request of localist politicians Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung Chung-hang to appeal to the Court of Final Appeal, but they can apply to it directly. Monday was the deadline to do so.

They will be represented by Senior Counsel Gladys Li Chi-hei. Leung told HKFP that they were preparing documents needed to hire Queen’s Counsel David Pannick.

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

Pannick was most recently known for winning a case against the British government, in which the judge ruled that it must obtain parliamentary approval before Brexit negotiations can begin.

Leung said he did not know what amount the Court of Final Appeal will ask for as a deposit. The duo previously stated that they must secure HK$1.6 million to pay a deposit to the Court of Final Appeal, or it would not hear the case.

As of late January, the duo’s donation page showed they had received HK$$608,965.17.

The pair were kicked out of the Legislative Council after they protested during their oath-taking ceremonies last October, displaying “Hong Kong is not China” flags and changing the wording of their oaths in a way some deemed insulting to Chinese people.

basic law lawyer oath protest
Lawyers silently march in protest of the Basic Law interpretation. Photo: Catherine Lai/HKFP.

The government subsequently lodged a legal challenge against them.

Before a ruling was handed down at the Court of First Instance, Beijing issued a rare interpretation of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s de facto constitution, which said that lawmakers must take their oaths sincerely and accurately.

The interpretation sparked protests by the general public and the legal sector.

The government then won cases at the Court of First Instance on November 15 and the Court of Appeal on November 30.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng

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.