The man who launched a legal challenge against the government’s attempt to invalidate 20,000 vaccine exemption certificates said on Friday he was appealing a ruling denying him legal aid in the case.
Kwok Cheuk-kin, known as the ‘King of Judicial Reviews’ due to his frequent legal challenges, will return to the High Court on Thursday for a full hearing after Judge Russell Coleman this week granted an interim relief order blocking the cancellation of the certificates issued by seven doctors suspected of having issued the papers in an abusive manner.
However, the Legal Aid Department previously blocked Kwok’s request for public funds in the case on the grounds that he is not directly affected as he received three doses of the Covid vaccine.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Kwok said he should get legal help because the case is in the public interest. He noted that he had received legal aid for a previous challenge to the small house policy, under which indigenous male villagers are allowed to build houses on private or public land, although they will not are not directly affected.
Kwok also revealed that a woman with an exemption certificate could join him in his legal fight. However, he pointed out that the woman’s waiver was not issued by any of the seven doctors whose certificates are intended to be revoked.
The certificates allow people who are not fully vaccinated to enter premises such as restaurants. Government lawyers argue that the invalidation is justified on public health grounds and say those affected can consult another doctor, including free public doctors, to apply for a new exemption certificate.
The government had announced it would rescind vaccination certificates on Wednesday this week, but has waited since Judge Coleman issued his relief order on Tuesday.