Hong Kong equal opportunities watchdog told asking for legislative changes to protect LGBTQ people beyond its powers

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11/10/2023

Hong Kong’s equality watchdog had spent more than a year researching possible legislative amendments to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, but was told by the government that such action was outside its mandate, the group’s chairman has revealed. Equal Opportunities Commission’s (EOC) chairperson Ricky Chu Man-kin, speaking on Friday at a panel discussion on diversity and inclusion as part of the celebration of the 120th anniversary of the Post, noted that between 2020 and 2021 the body had examined the “feasibility” of legal changes to protect LGBTQ rights. “At that time we were already working on some legislative amendments research for more than 18 months,” Chu said. “Then came … advice from the Department of Justice – If the EOC were to do that, then [it] would be acting ‘ultra vires’,” he said, a Latin legal term which means actions beyond the scope of a body’s legal powers.

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