Court Of Appeal

Court Of Appeal

Hong Kong court rules that blanket ban on masks is unconstitutional

Hong Kong court rules that blanket ban on masks is unconstitutional

9/4/2020 2:07:00 PM

Hong Kong court rules that blanket ban on masks is unconstitutional

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Hong Kong's Court of Appeal on Thursday (April 9) ruled that a blanket government ban on face masks was unconstitutional, at a time when most Hong Kong people are wearing them in the hope of warding off the new coronavirus.. Read more at

Partially overturning a lower court's ruling, a three-judge panel said that while the government had the right to ban the wearing of masks at unlawful assemblies, a ban on masks at legal public gatherings was unconstitutional.In October, during the height of anti-government protests, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam invoked colonial-era emergency powers for the first time in more than 50 years that allowed her to enact a new regulation banning face masks.

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At the time, many protesters wore masks to hide their identities from the authorities and also from their employers, particularly if they had close connections to Beijing.Protesters also wore masks to protect themselves from tear gas.The contentious ban on masks was ruled unconstitutional by the High Court in November, a decision that riled Beijing and led to an appeal.

"If the meeting and procession remain peaceful and orderly, it is difficult to see the justification for imposing a restriction on the freedom of demonstration by way of prohibition of wearing facial coverings," the Court of Appeal said.Some democracy activists said the Thursday ruling created confusion and called on the government to repeal the law.

"It creates lots of fear and confusion, so there's only one solution, I call upon Chief Executive Carrie Lam to repeal this law," said pro-democracy lawmaker Dennis Kwok, adding that the priority now should be to focus on battling the coronavirus.

Hong Kong has had 974 cases of the coronavirus and four people have died of it in the city.Thursday's ruling also found that providing the police with powers to remove facial coverings was also unconstitutional.But in a partial victory for the city government, the court said its overall right to invoke the Emergency Regulations Ordinance (ERO) was constitutional in time of"public danger", overruling critics who said the ERO was itself unconstitutional.

The city's Department of Justice has five days to appeal against the ruling.Masks have long been common in Hong Kong for when people are sick, or fear getting sick in public. That has become even more pronounced this year with most of the city's 7.4 million people putting on surgical mask in the hope of protecting themselves from the coronavirus.

Under the anti-mask law, it was illegal to wear a mask at both lawful and unlawful assemblies and offenders could be sentenced to one year in jail and a fine of HK$25,000 (S$4,590).People who need to wear face masks for health, religious or job-related reasons were exempt from the law, although critics of the ban said it was confusing.

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The problem of HK law is, a group of HKPF which is not trustworthy law executor. They arrest someone with their own political concern and bias What we want is democracy and freedom, nothing is going to stop us! FightForFreedom StandWithHongKong FiveDemandsNotOneLess What is illegal assembly? When assembly is a human right, no illegal assembly will be classified When there is no illegal assembly, maskban is no longer valid However, maskban allows hkpolice to oppress freedom of assembly by so-called 'legal' action. StandWithHK

The ban on masks is totally unnecessary but become a tool for the evil HK police to oppress normal citizens! It’s ridiculous that the evil police can wear masks and hide their identity when carrying out their duties! despite current situation, hk government insist risking people's life to enforce anti mask law juridical system is DEAD.

the problem is in HKPoliceState, HKPoliceBrutality is the authority to “approve” protests and demonstrations. They can disapprove every activity, they can declare a pre-approved protest is illegal at any point of time, even within the first 30mins of a “legal” protest. only popo got the full power , HKers all wrong

With the influence of CCP , hkgovt is just a puppet. HongKong life is like a mess under CCP . How China Rulers Control Society: Opportunity, Nationalism, Fear. CCP_is_terrorist Your title is misleading. Legal assembly can wear mask but it must be approved by HongkongPoliceTerrorism. CCP wants to eliminate all Hongkongers

welikejamhojan Ridiculous hongkong govt Now, near all HKers wear masks when going out. If wraring masks become illegal, how didi police arrest the people wearing mask. Or HKpolice will arrest all HKers. Then, infected rate of WuhanVirus in HK will rise a lot. CarrieLam focus on politics rather than lives of HKersj

Anti mask law become the police's tool to arrest people Rule of law? any one still trust about this? However, Hong Kong police have been turning down many applications of assemblies, thus most of our protests unavoidably become'unlawful'. While they can also declare an end of pre-approved assembly earlier to make it become 'illegal' for arresting... StandWithHongKong

The HKPoliceState has unlimited power to arrest citizens now with the help of the court. The biggest problem is the Emergency Regulations Ordinance gives too much power to the Chief Executive. If the Chief Executive continues to say HongKong is in emergency state, she can set up many laws and no one can stop her. chinazi

And why they can cover their face do this? HKlossRuleoflaw SOSHK Don't count on the court. The judges are not reliable anymore. We need to destroy the whole system in Hong Kong. We should aim on Chinese Communist Party. The only way is to blame CCP about China Virus and Recover all damage. ChinaLiedAndPeopleDied StandWithHongKong

Summary a bit misleading. The court ruled mask ban constitutional relating to “unauthorized assembly”, likely to be abused by the puppet govt. After all, no one’s gonna apply for authorization for a dinner with friends? Arrests on the police’s whim will continue or even aggravate Any law or decision made by court, the riot HongKongPolice will not follow. They do whatever they want. PoliceState

The problem is the anti-mask law is based on the emergence law, which is a horrible law that the Gov't can exploit to make unpredictable political oppression. In HongKong, there is no universal suffrage so Govt's power to use the emergency law should be restricted. using age old emergency powers to ban masks is unconstitutional. What can be done now to the rule of law in HongKong

Good move! The face mask ban law is unconstitutional from the first date of use. In Basic Law, it's HKers' freedom to strike & the LegCo's role to pass the laws, NOT the Chief Executive, but HK has become a PoliceState that Public Order Ordinance overrides our freedom of assembly & masking in a group of 3 could be charged despite coronavirus, what's justice?

Remember the timeline before taking the stance regarding the law At first: HongkongPoliceTerrorism which suppress the freedom of speech and protest Citizens' reaction: wear masks to protect them Citizens have no choice indeed! Now Hong Kong Government, Police and even the court serve only CCP, but not Hong Kong citizens. We need to fight the right by ourselves. StandWithHongKong 5DemandsNot1Less

The police just use the ‘laws’ as excuses to suppress anyone who criticises them In the midst of pandemic, HongKong govt suppression has NEVER stopped. They don't care what the society needs but they just care how to let HKers die. HongKongProtests AntiMaskLaw For how many times government have to appeal to High court before they are willing to wear masks during WuhanVirus ?

If the anti-mask law is effective, it should be applied to HK police. In the past 9 months, HK cops refused to show their police number. They would put on face mask purposely so that we can't hold an inquiry into their brutality and misconduct. HongkongPoliceTerrorism Police terrorism is unconstitutional too…But no one dares say a thing coz CCP is behind all the BS in Hong Kong! StandWithHongKong

The main point is Lam's use of emergency power. If the Chief Executive of Hong Kong could bypass the Legislative Council to impose any new law, it is very dangerous. That's why we say the rule of law is dead. Who would still insist on masking banning at the time of pandemic? Answer : CCP StandWithHongKong FightForFreedom

Although it said that we can wear mask in legal protest, there was precedent for stopping the protest by HongKongPolice. There is a chance to get arrest by them. So we shouldn’t be happy that HKGOV just hv a partly win. We should be aware of it! The anti-mask law is unconstitutional, using laws as political oppression tools.

We have many evidence showing that Hong Kong has lost rule of law. I don't have much expectation if HK laws would protect civilians' right. By the way, is the mask ban applied on HK police force ? The court also ruled that the totalitarian government could bypass the legislation altogether and enact any law it likes by virtue of the Emergency Regulation Ordinance. So the government has limitless power legally to rule by law and persecute people it dislikes

bloodycartie used all laws to suppress human rights. hongkongpolicebrutality HongKongPoliceTerrorism HKPolice just canceled several assemblies in seconds even they were approved HKPolice have already abused the power given by law, this decision made by count will be a disaster and another beginning of indiscriminate arrests HongKongProtests PoliceState

Another legal document that provides legal ground for HK police to arrest randomly without proper reasons, though they never do. StandWithHongKong FightForFreedom HKPolice are not only facing no consequence after attacking, torturing and harassing Hong Kong citizens. They define the law freely. With the helps from Hong Kong government, the HKPoliceState has been implemented perfectly. “One country, two systems” is a joke. HKProtest

Maskban is a law to let HK puppet govt to put HK protesters into jail easily with a least evidence. When HKPoliceState use the excessive power to claim illegal assemble whenever they want, anyone can be a victim of Maskban with a mask on the street. It is so disappointing that some of the judges choose to do favours for the CCP but not defending the legal independence. HKPoliceState

Anti-mask law is unconstitutional!!! FightForFreedom StandWithHongKong The Brutality Police can still declare any march and protests unlawful and then take mass arrest !! Mask ban judgement approves the CCP's Carrie Lam's tyrannt power. Such ruling lacks in rational behind check & balance. HK Court cannot uphold its role of democracy's universal value. Partly unconstitutional mask ban means only no Rule of Law and further erode of HK!

Feels like it's just whatever the government says Hong Kong is following rule by law now. Change political system. Hong Kong must start genuine Universal suffrage for LegCo election and Chief executive in 2020. 2020UniversalSuffrage StandWithHongKong It's under emergency law to set up anti mask law. In principle, hk govt can set up any law immediately. Are you dare to do business in hk? That's ccp StandWithHongKong

Keep on suppressing Hongkongers' freedom in regardless of the pandemic... Evil authority but the hidden devil is the 'unlawful assembly' part. the police have declared a march illegal 5 minutes after the official start too many times in the PoliceState of HongKong. at that point everyone would be taking part in an unlawful assembly & fall victim to the mask ban.

Dead! Rule of law is dead One more laws to suppress FreedomofExpression in HongKong But the ban is still constitutional in an unlawful assembly. It’s definition is made by cops, not the law. Passers-by might be arbitrary arrested. See a passer-by got shot by bullets. HongKongProtests HKPoliceState The WuhanVirus spread to Hong Kong and the world is caused by CCPLiedPeopleDied CCP is anti-Human Right and PressFreedom Today Hong Kong, Tomorrow the world . StandWithHongKong

what really sad to live in HongKong is watching the puppet government working with CCP to erode our cornerstone culture and rules but nothing we cannot do. This is why we seek for the world to StandWithHongKong to fight for a real universalsuffrage The exception is: “the government had the right to ban the wearing of masks at unlawful assemblies” Indeed the police could determine any groups more than three people is unlawful assembly.

It’s just like to authorize unlimited power to police. Police can call any assembly illegal. The anti-mask judge decision do not include Hong Kong police, so the police can continue the insane police brutality without any responsibility Yes, the ban is overturned, but civilians could still be unknowingly arrested for wearing a mask at 'illegal assemblies', aka wherever HKPolice wished. The ruling in fact placed civilians in greater danger as HKPF intentionally misapply the law to crack down their critics.

One country two system is death HKPoliceTerrorists can define any protest as an illegal activity even the protest is “pre approved”. Court rules is not applicable to HKPoliceState The anti mask law would be the excuse for HKPolice to arrest arbitrarily, just like the Social distancing law Mask ban on “legal protests” is unconstitutional....but Hong Kong Police can cancel a “pre-approved” protests in just 8 seconds.👇

This adjudgment grants the Chief Executive of Hong Kong unlimited power to establish every kind of law without the needs of consulting the legislative council. This is totally unacceptable. Now the Hog Kong Gov don't want us to go without a mask now. What an irony.

What happens if Hong Kong court upholds mask ban amid coronavirus pandemic?Hong Kong’s embattled government will know on Thursday the outcome of its appeal to uphold a controversial ban on masks, which was introduced at the height of the civil unrest last year but later ruled unconstitutional by the court.Legal experts, however, have called for a full withdrawal of the law, That true, Most of HKers know HK Government just working with CCP to bully HKers when we opposite thenselves. Banning the masks isn't helping in controlling the crowd or to minimize the protest. HongKongers have voiced clearly to having universalsuffrage. They will continuously fight for it. Five demands, not one less. Hong Kong Government doesn't care about the lives of Hongkongers 😒 They might uphold the ban on masks if they could😒😒 They even allowed police to hurt, insult, murder Hongkongers since June 2019... so, why not?

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