[UPDATE: Wednesday, Feb 25 - 15:40]
The Department of Justice sought to argue that non-compliance with the 14-day limit was an irregularity, which does not void the charge, and that the court had jurisdiction to grant a fresh order or extension of time within the same proceedings after the summons lapsed.
The purpose of the time-limit rule was not to void the proceedings, the department said, adding that the legal action brought against the activists was intended to protect the administration of justice.
The hearing continues before Mr Justice Anderson Chow Ka-ming.
Student activist Joshua Wong is back in court today to face charges for obstructing bailiffs in their duties to clear the protest area in Mong Kok on November 26, 2014.
The 19-year-old Scholarism founder was one of the leaders of Occupy Central.
Wong was one of the 148 people arrested in the two-day clearance of Mong Kok. At the time, protesters camped out in Mong Kok, calling for political reform.
With Lester Shum, former deputy secretary-general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students and Raphael Wong, vice-chairman of the League of Social Democrats, Wong was one of the twenty charged with contempt of court.
Lawyers argued in High Court this morning that the summons served on the activists should be discharged since the authorities had not followed the required procedures. Barrister Lawrence Lok Ying-kam representing seven activists said the Department of Justice failed to apply for a trial date within 14 days of the summons being served, as stipulated by requirements. The proceedings should not continue because the order in question had lapsed, the lawyer argued.