Under Section 18 of the Public Order Ordinance (Cap. 245), when 3 or more persons, assembled together, conduct themselves in a disorderly, intimidating, insulting or provocative manner intended or likely to cause any person reasonably to fear that the persons so assembled will commit a breach of the peace, or will by such conduct provoke other persons to commit a breach of the peace, they are an unlawful assembly. It is immaterial that the original assembly was lawful if being assembled, they conduct themselves in such a manner as aforesaid. Under Section 19, when any person taking part in an unlawful assembly by virtue of Section 18(1) commits a breach of the peace, the assembly is a riot and the persons assembled are riotously assembled. Any person who takes part in a riot shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for 10 years. Riot is a serious offence. A convicted defendant will normally be subject to an immediate custodial sentence.
At the scene of an unlawful assembly or riot, even if a person only participates by way of providing assistance or playing some indirect roles and is not directly involved in any breach of the peace, that person may still be guilty of unlawful assembly or riot by way of joint enterprise or aiding and abetting an unlawful assembly or riot. Under Section 89 of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance (Cap 221), any person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the commission by another person of any offence shall be guilty of the like offence, and is no different from directly participating in the #unlawful #assembly or riot.

Leave a Reply