Update: HKJA only interested party allowed to join HKU injunction trial

Dec 2, 2015

by Doreen Weisenhaus with contributions by Rick Glofcheski and Yan Mei Ning (Expanded Second Edition, Hong Kong University Press 2014)

December 1, 2015 (Hong Kong Free Press) — The High Court has made further rulings on the injunction in force to prevent more leaks of the discussions at a crucial University of Hong Kong (HKU) Council meeting. The court allowed the injunction to continue until the trial, and rejected the applications by Apple Daily and Undergrad editor-in-chief Marcus Lau Yee-ching to join the court proceedings as interested parties. Only the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) will be allowed to take part.

Justice Godfrey Lam Wan-ho said that the judiciary will make arrangements for the trial to take place as soon as possible. [UPDATE: Trial set for May 23, 2016, 10 am, High Court]

The hearing followed a previous court ruling in October, when HKU obtained an interim injunction, forcing Commercial Radio to remove recordings of speeches by two Council members, Arthur Li and Leoni Ki, during a controversial session on September 29, in which the governing body rejected the appointment of former HKU law dean Johannes Chan Man-mun as pro-vice-chancellor of the university.

In his verdict, the judge said that the injunction was not targeted at Apple Daily or Undergrad, and there was no evidence to show that the anonymous whistleblower had disclosed relevant information to the two. This meant that they were in the same position as the rest of the media. However, as the trial will involve discussions of press freedom, a topic with which the Hong Kong Journalists Association was familiar, they were permitted to join the proceedings.

Hong Kong Free Press full story here.

Court of First Instance ruling, HKU v Commercial Radio, here (Nov. 30, 2015, HCMP 2801/2015)

Revised Injunction Order 6 Nov 2015