Hong Kong protests: Top court to hear legal challenge against mask ban

Hong Kong’s top court will hear the legal challenge brought against the government’s ban on masks imposed at the height of anti-government protests last year.

Both the government and 25 pan-democrats who initiated the judicial review had sought to bring the case to the Court of Final Appeal for clarification after losing various parts of the legal debate in the High Court.

On Friday, the Court of Appeal granted both sides permission to challenge its April judgment upon concluding that 10 questions they raised could all be considered as of “great general or public importance”.

The same court had earlier overturned parts of the Court of First Instance judgment and ruled in favour of the government by upholding the constitutionality of the colonial-era Emergency Regulations Ordinance (ERO) and finding the mask ban valid in unauthorised and unlawful assemblies.

The judges also held that it would be unconstitutional to ban masks in lawful public meetings and processions, or to grant police powers to physically remove them.

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