Co-location challenge dismissed by Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal on Friday upheld a lower court’s ruling that the co-location arrangement at the West Kowloon express rail station is constitutional, dismissing an appeal from former lawmakers and activists.

Disqualified legislators Leung Kwok-hung and Sixtus Leung, and activists Henderick Lui and Kwok Cheuk-kin, had lodged the appeal after they lost their initial judicial challenge in 2018.

They argued that the arrangement – which houses mainland customs clearance facilities and officers in the West Kowloon facility – violates the Basic Law, because it states that mainland laws cannot be applied on Hong Kong soil unless they are included in annex three of the mini-constitution.

But the appeals court said that the national legislature, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, had passed a decision approving the border arrangement and ruling that it conforms with the Basic Law.

The court said the decision “is an important and weighty interpretative factor in the overall constitutional context.”

“We give full weight to the NPCSC Decision confirming that the [express rail] ordinance, including the deeming provision, conforms with the Basic Law,” the three-judge panel of Jeremy Poon, Johnson Lam and Aarif Barma wrote in their judgement.