Infinger Nick v The Hong Kong Housing Authority - A Remarkable Development of LGBTQ Rights in Hong Kong
11 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2020
Date Written: August 21, 2020
In the decision of Infinger Nick v The Hong Kong Housing Authority issued in March 2020, the High Court of Hong Kong (High Court) held that the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA)’s exclusion of same-sex couples from eligibility for public rental housing (PRH) was unlawful and unconstitutional. The High Court referred to recent landmark decisions of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (CFA) and reinstated the equality rights embedded in the Basic Law (BL), the mini constitution of Hong Kong, and Bill of Rights Ordinance (BORO). In QT v Director of Immigration, the CFA decided that the Hong Kong Director of Immigration’s exclusion of same-sex married or otherwise formalised couples from the dependant visa policy was unlawful. In Leung Chun Kwong v Secretary for Civil Service, the CFA ruled in favour of a gay civil servant by allowing same-sex couples to enjoy equal spousal benefits in civil service and to file joint tax assessments in Hong Kong. Infinger is significant as it is the first of Hong Kong’s equality rights cases to directly benefit lower income same-sex couples in relation to public housing issues. Such a breakthrough also reflects that Hong Kong courts did adopt a consistent approach as their counterparts in the United Kingdom did in equality rights cases.
Keywords: Hong Kong; Judicial Review; LGBTQ Rights; Reasonableness
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