The Court of Appeal has refused to clear the way for democracy activists Nathan Law and Alex Chow to appeal their jail sentences – however, their applications for leave to appeal can still proceed at Hong Kong’s highest court.

The two activists had been seeking certification from the Court of Appeal to demonstrate that a legal point of great importance was involved in the decision. But the court dismissed the their applications on Thursday afternoon.

Nathan Law.

The duo, along with fellow activist Joshua Wong, applied for leave to appeal with the Court of Final Appeal on the grounds that a substantial and grave injustice had been done. The application will be heard on November 7.

The three activists were sentenced to six to eight months in jail in August by the Court of Appeal over their participation in the Civic Square clashes that led to the 2014 Occupy protests.

On Thursday, the Court of Appeal said that the case involved a serious and large-scale unlawful assembly involving violence. It also said that the magistrate failed to take into account relevant factors and made errors, thus the original sentences imposed by the magistrate were inadequate.

In its dismissal of the application, the judge said that neither Chow nor Law were “able to demonstrate an arguable case.”

Joshua Wong, Alex Chow and Natha Law. File Photo: Facebook/Demosisto.

The Court of Final Appeal earlier this week approved bail applications lodged by Wong and Law. They will be released until their appeal hearing subject to the condition that they must report to the police every week, not leave the city, and live at their residences.

Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma had said that – in granting bail – their appeal was “not an entirely hopeless application,” and that the Department of Justice did not oppose bail.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.