Press release: Tanner De Witt instructed on ground-breaking case concerning marriage equality in Hong Kong


30 December 2015
For Immediate Release

Tanner De Witt has been instructed by Mr Leung Chun Kwong, a Civil Servant in Hong Kong, to file an application for leave to judicially review two Government department’s decisions on the basis that they are unconstitutional and discriminatory.  Mr Leung is a Chinese national and a permanent resident of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and was legally married in 2014 in New Zealand to his same-sex partner, also a Hong Kong permanent resident.

This application for leave for judicial review is not the first of its kind in Hong Kong and the Government will have to respond to yet another challenge regarding alleged breaches of equality rights protected under the Bill of Rights that was introduced over two decades ago.

The Counsel representing the civil servant are Mr Nigel Kat S.C. of Parkside Chambers and Mr Azan Marwah of Gilt Chambers.

A representative of Tanner De Witt states, “This application for judicial review is about equal treatment, not special treatment. Our client is asking that the Government follow its own policies and apply the law in a way that is consistent with the Basic Law, the Bill of Rights and with the existing Ordinances, the Inland Revenue Ordinance and the Sex Discrimination Ordinance.

Tanner De Witt and our client have no further comment as the matter is now before the court. We would ask that our client and his family’s privacy be respected.


About Tanner De Witt

Tanner De Witt is one of the largest established and recommended independent law firms in Asia, based in Hong Kong. Our firm and lawyers, many of whom have international law firm backgrounds, receive top ratings from industry publications such as Chambers and Partners and Legal 500. We are an equal opportunities employer and strive to promote a culture of opportunity and success. Hong Kong in its very nature is a region that enjoys a diversity of perspectives, history, culture and outlook; our team and our client base reflect this status quo.

We provide legal advice and representation in the following areas: Corporate and Commercial; Litigation and Dispute Resolution; Insolvency and Restructuring; Employment; Immigration; Family and Private Client; Wills and Trusts; Financial Services Regulatory; Hospitality including Liquor Licensing; White Collar Crime and Criminal.

Tanner De Witt, 17/F Lippo Centre Tower 1, 89 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Full press release with Chinese translation can be viewed here.

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