2nd December 2023 – (Hong Kong) In response to a judicial review application regarding the legality of the District Council election (HCAL 1978/2023), a government spokesperson has stated that the Court of First Instance dismissed the application on 1st December, affirming that the “Three District Committees” nomination requirement is in accordance with the Basic Law.
As per the ruling, the court has provided a robust legal foundation for the lawfulness of the District Council election. The judgement echoes the government’s viewpoint, confirming that members of the “Three District Committees” hail from diverse sectors of society and play a crucial role as stakeholders in district matters. The court also acknowledged that currently, there are no other individuals or entities more suitable than members of the “Three District Committees” to exercise the nomination rights.
Additionally, the court expressly accepted the legitimate objectives of the “Three District Committees” nomination requirement, namely:
- To ensure the guiding principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” is fully implemented in the system.
- To ensure that candidates are recognised by individuals who are acquainted with district affairs and the relevant district electors.
- To boost stability across the political spectrum and better represent the views of the majority.
The court also held that the “Three District Committees” nomination requirement is a proportionate limitation to the rights to vote and concurred that members of the “Three District Committees” will not exercise the nomination rights arbitrarily.
The Government reiterated that the upcoming District Council election for the 7th Term District Council is lawful and reasonable. It was unanimously approved by the Legislative Council and enjoys widespread support among the people. The government emphasised that this crucial election takes into account the interests of each district’s residents.