Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal rules in favor of HKSAR gov't on mask ban case
The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal ruled in favor of the government on the appeal concerning the constitutionality of the face mask ban that Chief Executive Carrie Lam imposed last year amid violent protests, rejecting a challenge by over 20 opposition figures.
A five-judge panel ruled that the ban on masks at unauthorized protests and rallies was proportionate and no more than reasonably necessary to prevent violence.
Last October, the Hong Kong government invoked the power under the Emergency Regulations Ordinance and passed the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation, as a deterrent to rioters, most of whom have used masks to conceal their identities in the months-long unrest. The opposition camp then brought a legal challenge against the enactment, questioning the legality and constitutionality of the two regulations.
The Court of First Instance of the High Court ruled in November 2019 that provisions under the ERO that allow the Chief Executive to enact related regulations are incompatible with the Basic Law. The HKSAR government then lodged an appeal against the ruling.