What are the implications after court injunction granted to Airport Authority against protesters yesterday? (Updated 8.25am)

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14th August 2019 – (Hong Kong) Sources have revealed that Airport Authority was granted a court injunction at 9.30pm yesterday to prevent protesters from entering the airport. The injunction order prohibits anyone from disrupting or abusing the normal usage of the airport illegally or intentionally. It further restricts anyone from conducting protest or any gathering that may disrupt public order within the restricted areas. Only passengers, airport staff and security are allowed to enter. The injunction also prevents anyone from blocking passageways, exits or entrances within the airport premises.

What are the implications of once the public notice of the injunction is posted at the airport?

It is most likely that the court granted Airport Authority the injunction to stop acts of trespass so that other passengers wouldn’t be injured and property wouldn’t be damaged. With large areas of the airport where transitory visitors are welcome (but acts of trespass are not), injunctions are a useful tool where orders for possession may not be appropriate.

Enforcement of the injunction would most probably be by way of contempt of court procedure. In the current situation, this is enforceable by committal (imprisonment). It can also be modified or dissolved (upon a proper motion to the court) if circumstances change in the future.

It remains unclear if the Airport Authority would file a criminal or civil action against the protesters seeking damages and an injunction against further demonstrations. If the protests persist, their actions may cause irreparable harm to the Airport Authority justifying a favourable case against the protesters.

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