This portal page has been set up to answer some of our community's questions.
We would like to inform you that Mr Geicke and the interests he represents, who had opposed the Originating Summons, filed for leave to appeal outside of the normal appeals period on 10th July. A hearing has been set on 10th September, when it will be decided if this extension will be granted by the court. You can see his application here: Leave to Appeal Summons | Leave to Appeal Written Statement
On May 6th, GSISA submitted an Originating Summons to ask the High Court to rule on three longstanding and controversial articles that have been said to breach the Race Discrimination Ordinance in our Articles. The court hearing was on June 12th.
On June 26th, we received the judgement from Hon Harris J in the matter of Articles 47.2, 63 and 68 of The German Swiss International School Association Limited and the Race Discrimination Ordinance. The High Court ruled in paragraph 55:
- Section 36 of the Ordinance applies to prohibit discrimination within the meaning of s4(l)(b) by the Company.
- Articles 47.2, 63 and 68 contravene s36 of the Ordinance.
- The offending parts of Articles 47.2, 63 and 68 (which are underlined in the next paragraph) are void pursuant to s81 of the Ordinance.
- Article 68 is void for uncertainty.
You can read the whole judgement here.
The Board would like to focus on bringing the community together by renewed engagement with its various stakeholders. Preservation of our German and Swiss culture and heritage will be very much part of this. At the same time, we need to shift our efforts from disagreement to cooperation for the benefit of our students. We look forward to working with you, our members, on this in the coming months.
On July 6th, there will be an Extraordinary General Meeting as requested by a group of Requisitionists.
On this page, you can find answers to some of the questions and misinformation that have arisen. In the section "Documentation", members can log in to access some related court documents that will be uploaded from time to time.
We encourage all members to distinguish between Fact and Fake News.
Should you have any questions, please email GSISAnswers@gsis.edu.hk and we will respond to as many of your questions as possible.
Board Blog Archive
View the videos from the virtual Board Townhall meetings held on 17th and 19th June.
GSIS Swiss Taskforce Blog 17 June 2020 Dear Students, Dear Parents, Dear Community, Find this blog addressing our students with the purpose of providing you
On 8 June 2020, the KPR Secretaries and members of the Boards met for a question and answer session. A summary of the questions and
On Wednesday May 20th, members of the GSIS alumni community were invited to join a virtual Alumni Town Hall held by Roland Müksch, Chairman of
On 25th March, 2020, GSIS received a letter from the Swiss government...
Letter from The Education Bureau (“EDB”) dated 9thMarch 2020 (“the EDB Letter”) The German Swiss International School received the EDB Letter dated 9th March in relation
FACT: ARTICLE 47.2 (GERMAN LANGUAGE CONSTRAINT)
As early as 2001, the Board had proposed to allow English to be spoken on the Board (just before incorporation) only for this to be reversed by the German govt. Since then, a small group has continued to block its removal.
- Report of Hearing on 12th June 2020
- Language constraint discussion since 2001 RM-18
- Teacher Dismissal RM-17 (in Documentation section)
FACT: RESOLUTION 4
The amendment proposed is NOT fair NOR reasonable. It will put the control of the Board in the hands of a small group with entrenched German interests in Hong Kong and given a 50/50 split from the outset, would likely lead to the 2 streams splitting over time.
FACT: SWISS SUPPORT
We regret the Swiss Government is ending its support. After the court ruling, we hope that any misunderstanding around the legality of our articles is cleared up. The Board has written to invite Switzerland to reconsider their cooperation with GSIS. Through the stewardship of this Board and the school management, we have increased the number of Swiss teachers to 3 (highest number in 5 years) and GSIS will continue to cherish and live this heritage. GSISA has full legal ownership to the name “German Swiss International School”.
Limitation on proxies is NOT allowed under Hong Kong law. However, a compromise was reached with the ZFA (Dec 2019 Articles) to cap it at 20 per proxy holder to reflect a typical class size. This can still be legally challenged (i.e. there should be no limitation) as the restriction constitutes voter suppression.
FACT: LEGAL EXPENSES
The Association has incurred substantial legal costs in connection with its efforts to amend its Articles over the past three years. Most of these costs would not have been incurred if a minority of our members had not opposed the removal of the German Fluency Constraint from our Articles.
Current Board Members are parents like yourselves volunteering their time for the betterment of the school. Mr. Muksch facilitated a “pro bono”account with LGT saving the school substantial fees. Mr de Jong’s cousin did indeed marry Mr Mandel - against his better advice!
FACT: ARTICLE 94
Article 94 states that the German Government has a veto right over changes in the Articles but is not valid in Hong Kong and therefore cannot be breached. This Article was changed and agreed in the draft articles to consult with the German Government on changes that would affect the structure or character of GSIS. The Board continues to consult with the German Government on any changes to the Articles and seeks its approval.
We cannot pass any resolutions if non-voting members not present RM-19 (Inspection only)
FACT: BUSINESS COLLEGE
The EDB notified the school in March to stop operating the BC as GSIS never had a license to operate it. The EDB accused the school’s previous supervisor of concealing “the true nature of the education provided by the business college.” The BC was being operated without a license for a significant time and at substantial risk and cost to the rest of the school. Despite this, the Board found a new home for the BC to operate in Hong Kong.
- EDB order after 2 years of investigation RM-5
BC supporting documents RM-15 (Inspection Only)
- BC Taskforce 2018_HGrabner RM-20 (in Documentation section)
FACT: THE FOUNDATION BOARD
The members of the Foundation and the Association are not the same. Five of the maximum fifteen members of the Foundation Board are appointed from the Association Board and are stipulated in the Foundation’s Articles which Association Board members will be appointed. The Association cannot choose.
FACT: RESOLUTION 12
“Resolution 12” aims to appoint Mr. Ulrich Buchholtz to the Board and elect him as Chairperson and proposes him as an eligible mediator. This requisition has no legal basis. The notice also contains factual inaccuracies and misleading statements. In addition, Mr Buchholtz is implicated in the payment of extra housing to the then Principal where the expenses were hidden in ‘Travel expenses’; and also operated the Business College in a manner that eventually led to the Education Bureau ordering its closure for breach of the Education Ordinance.
- Proposed Additional Resolution
UBuchholtz Double Housing Allowance RM-15 (Inspection only)
FACT: CONCILIATION AGREEMENT
Since 2017, the then Board under Mr Buchholtz committed to changing the German language constraint so that ALL members could stand for election. Mr. Lloyd Fischer had agreed to hold in abeyance a claim at the EOC. However, 3 years later, and after 4 Chairmen, this has still not been remedied. The Conciliation Agreement was entered into with the full authorization of the Board.
- Conciliation Agreement - Interim arrangement until permanent fix is worked out (in Documentation section)