The Sedition Offences in “New Period” Hong Kong (HKLJ)


Reactivated and Re-energised: The Sedition Offences in “New Period” Hong Kong
Pui-yin Lo

Summary: Sections 9 and 10 of the Crimes Ordinance (Cap 200), which prescribe the offences of sedition in Hong Kong, have had a rare historical past for the reason that institution of the Hong Kong Particular Administrative Area (HKSAR). However that it was as soon as proposed to place them into the proverbial dustbin, the sedition offences have, for the reason that introduction of the Legislation of the Individuals’s Republic of China on Safeguarding Nationwide Safety within the Hong Kong Particular Administrative Area (NSL) in mid-2020, been vigorously enforced as an “offence endangering nationwide safety” throughout the that means of the NSL by the Nationwide Safety Division of the Hong Kong Police Pressure and the Division of Justice. This text considers this current historical past of reactivation of the sedition offences together with the system of enforcement offered underneath the NSL with a purpose to clarify the boosted place held of the sedition offences by the native legislation enforcers and their supervisors. This text then examines a number of accomplished prosecutions of sedition so far to discern how the courts of the HKSAR have considered these offences, each in gentle of the makes an attempt to impugn the offences by the defence and the comparable circumstances of sedition-like offences from different frequent legislation jurisdictions. Lastly, this text provides three methods for persuading the appellate courts that the sedition offences and their enforcement per the NSL might be curtailed or circumscribed: (1) sections 9 and 10 had been repealed by operation of the Hong Kong Invoice of Rights Ordinance (Cap 383), and accordingly there’s nothing to be revived for enforcement; (2) remedial interpretation(s) may be suitably imposed to resolve the problems of authorized certainty and necessity of criminalising speech and expressive acts merely and plainly for his or her ascribed “intentions” and (3) a number of of the seven classes of “seditious intention” have a fairly uncertain reference to the safeguarding of nationwide safety and the duty of the establishments of the HKSAR to forestall, suppress and punish acts and actions endangering nationwide safety, in order that it’s applicable on stability with the safety of elementary rights and the rule of legislation to disapply the NSL’s system of enforcement in opposition to individuals alleged to have dedicated acts underneath these classes of “seditious intention”.


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