20th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) On 5th June 2023, the Secretary for Justice in Hong Kong applied to the Court of First Instance for an injunction and an interim injunction to restrain certain acts associated with a song widely known as “Glory to Hong Kong.” The Secretary for Justice sought to prohibit four classes of acts related to the song, citing concerns regarding national security and potential seditious intentions.
However, the initial application for the interim injunction was dismissed by the Court of First Instance on 28th July 2023. Undeterred, the Secretary for Justice proceeded to file an appeal to the Court of Appeal on 7th August 2023, challenging the dismissal and asserting that the court erroneously failed to recognise the true significance and legal implications of the injunction. The Secretary for Justice argued that matters of national security and decisions made by the Chief Executive should hold paramount importance, urging the court to overturn the dismissal of the injunction.
On 23rd August 2023, the Court of First Instance granted the Secretary for Justice leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal regarding the dismissal of the interim injunction. Consequently, the Secretary for Justice served the Notice of Appeal on the Defendants on 4th September 2023 through substituted service. The appeal was then listed for consideration in the List of Interlocutory Appeals on the same day, signifying the continuation of the legal proceedings.
According to the judicial schedule, the appeal is set to be heard on 19th December 2023, providing an opportunity for the Court of Appeal to reassess the application for the interim injunction concerning the song “Glory to Hong Kong.” The outcome of the appeal will determine whether the injunction will be granted or denied.
The legal battle surrounding the “Glory to Hong Kong” song began with the Secretary for Justice’s initial application for an injunction to restrain specific acts associated with the song. The terms of the interim injunction sought to prevent the broadcasting, performing, printing, publishing, selling, distributing, and reproducing of the song’s melody or lyrics, particularly when they incite secession or advocate the separation of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) from the People’s Republic of China. Additionally, the injunction aimed to prohibit acts that might lead to the misidentification of the song as the national anthem of the HKSAR or imply the HKSAR’s status as an independent state with its own national anthem. Anyone found assisting, inciting, or participating in such acts, or authorising others to do so, would also be restrained by the injunction.