|CFA rules 7-year residency for welfare unconstitutional
The Court of Final Appeal has ruled that the requirement for social security applicants to have stayed in Hong Kong for seven years is unconstitutional.
An immigrant from the mainland sought the judicial review after she was refused Comprehensive Social Security Assistance in 2006.
She lost her case in the lower courts but all five judges in the Court of Final Appeal unanimously ruled in her favor.
The court ruled that based on Article 36 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong residents have the right to social welfare, and any violation of such rights can't be without reasonable basis.
The 60 year-old applicant was married to a Hong Kong man in 2003 and came here on a one-way permit two years later.
Her husband died a day after she arrived in the territory and she then sought social security in March 2006.
The Social Welfare Department rejected her application because she hadn't stayed in Hong Kong for seven years. --RTHK