Following enquiries from its members the Law Society on 10 March 2020 received confirmation from the Inland Revenue Department (“IRD”) that same sex marriages will be recognised by the IRD as valid marriages for the purposes of the Stamp Duty Ordinance (Cap. 117). Same sex…Read More
Hong Kong’s High Court rules Government’s discrimination against same-sex couples in public housing policy unconstitutional
In a decision handed down today the High Court has ruled that the Hong Kong Housing Authority (“HA”)’s exclusion of same-sex couples from eligibility for public housing as “Ordinary Families” is unlawful and unconstitutional. Background Applications to the HA for public housing are available to…Read More
Legal Update: Recent judgment revises guidance for amount of damages for injury to feelings in pregnancy discrimination case
The recent District Court decision of 秦秀清 v 長鴻鋁窗裝飾工程有限公司 (“Tsun”; DCEO3/2018) updated the starting point of the award of damages for injury to feelings in pregnancy discrimination cases and provided further guidance as to the factors which the Court may take into account in awarding…Read More
Legal update: Can an employer be liable for disability discrimination without knowing the disability suffered by an employee?
It is not uncommon for the personal health situation of an employee to adversely affect his or her work performance. When this happens, however, the underlying reason may not always be immediately apparent or known to the employer. Despite this, the employer may have taken…Read More
Legal update: Landmark decision by HK CFA to allow civil service spousal benefits and joint tax assessments to same sex couples
On 6 June 2019 Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal handed down a landmark unanimous decision allowing same sex couples to enjoy equal spousal benefits in civil service and to file joint tax assessments in Hong Kong. Facts The Appellant, Leung Chun Kwong, a Hong…Read More
Legal update: What’s the problem with “gweilo” and various local slangs applied to certain ethnicities?
A discrimination claim was recently lodged with the District Court in Hong Kong by a British construction worker, against his former employer, after his employment was terminated, alleging he was racially harassed and treated less favourably by his employer and his colleagues because of his…Read More
Legal update: UK Supreme Court held no discrimination by bakery shop not producing cake with “Support Gay Marriage” message
The recent judgment handed down by the UK Supreme Court in the case of Lee v Ashers Baking Company Ltd & Others  UKSC 49 (“Lee”) provided some important guidance concerning direct discrimination and how other competing rights should be weighed. In Lee, Mr. Lee…Read More
Legal update: Indirect Discrimination in Hong Kong: claimants need to prove that they are disadvantaged and why
In the UK case of Home Office (UK Border Agency) and Shafic Essop and Others, the Court of Appeal (“CA”) decided that it is necessary for the claimant to show the reason why the provision, criterion or practice (“PCP”) which it is claimed constitutes indirect…Read More
The recent decision of Chan Wai Ho v Civil Service Bureau shows an increasing and important trend in the court’s approach to ordering costs against unsuccessful parties in discrimination cases. Facts of the Case The above case of Chan Wai Ho v Civil Service Bureau…Read More