Police recently launched an appeal against a lower court’s decision in a judicial review case that dates back to 2011 when a group of LGBT rights activists marked International Day Against Homophobia with a rally in Causeway Bay, according to scmp.com.
Police intervened to stop the activists dancing on stage telling them they lacked a license under the Place of Public Entertainment Ordinance.
The case was in the news recently because one of the activists identified as T applied for a judicial review after the case was dismissed by the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal ruled in T’s favor past January.
T’s lawyer and human rights lawyer Michael Vidler had then told the South China Morning Post that the Court of Appeal’s decision was a victory relevant not only to the LGBT community but to all Hong Kong citizens seeking the right to demonstrate.
Johnny Mok Shiu-luen, senior counsel for the police, told the Court of Final Appeal that the lower court had erred in considering whether the event should be regarded as public entertainment because it considered only how much control organizers had over admission to the event, according to scmp.com.
Mok said the lower court had defined a place of entertainment to include only enclosed spaces.
The judges reportedly asked Mok if he meant that organizers would have to apply for licenses for other celebratory public activities, such as fireworks displays at Victoria Harbour.
Mok said such activities were different because they were spread across a vast area.
The 2011 rally at Causeway Bay was organized by Amnesty International and a coalition of rights groups and police intervened when 18 activists started dancing on stage.