Protective clause for journalists argued for in a Song-banning Injunction Application

Case: Secretary for Justice v. Persons conducting themselves in any of the acts prohibited under paragraph 1(a), (b), (c) or (d) of the Indorsement of Claim [2023] HKCFI 1950

The Secretary for Justice sought for an injunction to prohibit four categories of acts endangering national security in relation to the Song widely known as “Glory to Hong Kong”.

Our firm act for the Hong Kong Journalists Association (“HKJA”), as the party affected by the Order, who requested for a protective clause to be added as paragraph 4 of the Order applied by the Secretary for Justice, so as to protect their interests and the public interest of lawful journalistic activities in or outside Hong Kong when journalists refer to and make observations about the Song and its various elements in the course of news gathering, interviews and in commentaries.

The Court on 21 July 2023 after hearing the Plaintiff and the amici curiae has refused the application for an injunction on the ground that the injunction does not have any real utility and would conflict with criminal law regime. The Court further commented that the concern of the HKJA, which led to the inclusion of paragraph 4 of the Injunction, serves as an illustration of the potential chilling effects that cannot be dismissed simply because the Injunction is not aimed at lawful pursuits.

This case was handled by our partner Mr. Jonathan Man and our associate Ms. Kristine Chan.

The Judgment can be found here: