Interim Injunction Order of the High Court (HCA 1847/2020) - Doxxing and Harassment against Judicial Officers and their Families

Since June 2019, there have been numerous public order events in which, regrettably, a sizeable number of members of the public have been resorting to the use of violence purportedly as a way to express their dissatisfaction towards the Government, the Police, Judicial Officers and/or other members of the public holding views contrary to their own.

The social unrests have also given rise to a pervasive culture among netizens to “doxx” those they disagree with, or those whose political stance or beliefs are in conflict with theirs. Doxxing activities against the Judicial Officershave been identified on social media platforms since November 2019, and such activities have worsened in recent months.These doxxing activities caused nuisance to the affected Judicial Officers and their family members.

On 30 October 2020, the Court of First Instance granted an interim injunction to restrain doxxing against Judicial Officers and their families. The application was made by the Secretary for Justice as guardian of the public interest and in seeking to uphold the rule of law and to safeguard the administration of justice.

On 13 November 2020, the Court of First Instance ordered that the interim injunction be continued until trial or further order of the Court.

The interim injunction restrains persons from unlawfully and wilfully conducting themselves in any of the following acts :-

(a) using, publishing, communicating or disclosing to any other person the personal data of and concerning any Judicial Officer(s) (as defined in section 2 of the Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission Ordinance (Cap. 92)), Deputy/Temporary Judge(s), District Judge(s), Magistrate(s), Presiding Officer(s), Coroner(s) and Member(s) of courts of record (collectively as “Judicial Officer(s)”) and/ortheir spouse and/or family members (namely parents, children or siblings), including but not limited to their name, job title, residential address, office address, email address, education, age, date of birth, telephone number, Hong Kong Identity Card number, Facebook Account ID, Instagram Account ID, car plate number and photograph (“Personal Data”), intended or likely to intimidate, molest, harass, threaten or pester any Judicial Officer(s) and/or their spouses and/or their respective family members (namely parents, children or siblings), without the consent of the person concerned;

(b) intimidating, molesting, harassing, threatening or pestering any Judicial Officer(s) and/or their spouses and/or their respective family members (namely parents, children or siblings); and

(c) assisting, causing, counselling, procuring, instigating, inciting, aiding, abetting or authorizing others to commit or participate in any of the aforesaid acts.

The Order does not prohibit any lawful act(s) which are done solely for the purpose of a “news activity” as defined in section 61 of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486).

Any person who violates the interim injunction may be held in contempt of court, and is liable to imprisonment or a fine.

13 November 2020

Sealed Copy of Interim Injunction Order (as continued) (Chinese Translation) (HCA 1847/2020) Sealed Copy of Interim Injunction Order (as continued) (HCA 1847/2020) Sealed Copy of Interim Injunction Order (HCA 1847/2020) Sealed Copy of Writ of Summons (HCA 1847/2020) Copy of Inter Partes Summons (HCA 1847/2020) Interim Injunction Order (Chinese Translation) (HCA 1847/2020)