Update: Viewers can pursue judicial review against HKTVN licence denial

Jun 20, 2014

by Doreen Weisenhaus with contributions by Rick Glofcheski and Yan Mei Ning (Expanded Second Edition, Hong Kong University Press 2014)


June 19, 2014 — Two television viewers were given approval to challenge the government’s denial of a free-to-air licence to Hong Kong Television Network (HKTVN). The viewers applied for judicial review into the government’s decision on the grounds that it failed to provide adequate explanation for its denial and that it interfered with their freedom to receive information, in violation of Article 16 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance and Article 27 of the Basic Law.┬áJustice Thomas Au of the Court of First Instance stated that the applicants had shown prima facie standing to apply for a judicial review as it related to the “interference of their right to freedom of expression.”

Court ruling, Freeman v Chief Executive in Council, found here.

“HKTV supporters allowed judicial review,” RTHK, 19 June 2014

In earlier developments:

–HKTVN was also given leave to pursue a judicial review against the government’s licence denial. The substantive hearing in the High Court has been scheduled for August 27, 2014.

“August court hearing for HKTV case,” RTHK, 27 May 2014

–The Communications Authority fined TVB HK$50,000 for misleading audiences when one of its programmes claimed that rival HKTVN was an inferior applicant for the free-to-air licence. ┬áThe CA received more than 27,000 complaints about the broadcast. TVB said it would appeal.

TVB fined HK$50,000 for partial report,” RTHK, 28 May 2014