No. CB(2) 931/96-97
Ref : CB2/H/5
Members present :
Minutes of 13th meeting held on Friday, 10 January 1997 at 4.00 pm. in the Legislative Council Chamber
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP (Chairman)Members absent :
Hon Allen LEE, CBE, JP
Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, OBE, JP
Hon Martin LEE, QC, JP
Hon NGAI Shiu-kit, OBE, JP
Hon SZETO Wah
Hon LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
Hon Edward S T HO, OBE, JP
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, OBE, JP
Hon Albert CHAN Wai-yip
Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
Hon CHIM Pui-chung
Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
Dr Hon HUANG Chen-ya, MBE
Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing
Hon LEE Wing-tat
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, OBE, JP
Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
Hon James TO Kun-sun
Dr Hon Samuel WONG Ping-wai, OBE, FEng, JP
Dr Hon YEUNG Sum
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Hon Zachary WONG Wai-yin
Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, OBE, JP
Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
Hon Paul CHENG Ming-fun
Hon CHENG Yiu-tong
Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Hon IP Kwok-him
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
Hon LAW Chi-kwong
Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
Hon LO Suk-ching
Hon Margaret NG
Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
Hon SIN Chung-kai
Hon TSANG Kin-shing
Dr Hon John TSE Wing-ling
Hon Lawrence YUM Sin-ling
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, OBE, JP (Deputy Chairman)Clerk in attendance :
Dr Hon David K P LI, OBE, LLD (Cantab), JP
Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Dr Hon Anthony CHEUNG Bing-leung
Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
Hon LAU Chin-shek
Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
Hon LEE Kai-ming
Hon MOK Ying-fan
Hon Mrs Elizabeth WONG, CBE, ISO, JP
Staff in attendance :
- Mrs Justina LAM
- Assistant Secretary General 2
- Mr Ricky C C FUNG
- Secretary General
- Mr Jimmy MA
- Legal Adviser
- Mr LAW Kam-sang
- Deputy Secretary General
- Mr LEE Yu-sang
- Senior Assistant Legal Adviser
- Miss Pauline NG
- Assistant Secretary General 1
- Mr Ray CHAN
- Assistant Secretary General 3
- Ms Bernice WONG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 1
- Ms Kitty CHENG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 2
- Miss Connie FUNG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 3
- Mr Stephen LAM
- Assistant Legal Adviser 4
- Mr Arthur CHEUNG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 5
- Ms LEUNG Siu-kam
- Chief Assistant Secretary (Complaints)
- Ms Kathleen LAU
- Chief Public Information Officer
- Mrs Percy MA
- Chief Assistant Secretary (House Committee)
- Miss Odelia LEUNG
- Chief Assistant Secretary (1) 1
- Mrs Eleanor CHOW
- Senior Assistant Secretary (House Committee)
I.Confirmation of minutes of meeting held on 3 January 1997
(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 842/96-97)
The minutes were confirmed.
Report on Chairman's meeting with the Chief Secretary
Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Bill 1996
2. The Chairman said that he had advised the Chief Secretary that members were unhappy that the Administration had threatened not to proceed with the Bill if the Council agreed to the Committee stage amendments on mandatory membership. The Chief Secretary had reiterated the Administration's position on the matter. The Chairman added that although members had agreed at the last meeting that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed on 15 January l997, the Administration had not given notice for the resumption by the deadline of 6 January 1997.
III.Legal Service Division report on the subsidiary legislation tabled in the Legislative Council on 8 January 1997 (gazetted on 3 January 1997)
(LegCo Paper No. LS 79/96-97)
|3. The Legal Adviser said that only the Boilers and Pressure Vessels (Amendment) Regulation 1997 involved fee increases. According to the LegCo Brief, the Pressure Equipment Advisory Committee had been consulted and raised no objection to the proposal. However, one of its members representing the trade had proposed increasing the fees by 16%, instead of the proposed 19%. The Legal Service Division was seeking clarification from the Administration on some technical points and would give a further report at the next meeting.||ALA5|
4. Members raised no queries on the subsidiary legislation.
IV.Position report on Bills Committees and Subcommittees
(LegCo Paper No. CB(2) 882/96-97)
5. Members noted the report.
Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill 1996
6. The Chairman said that a Bills Committee was formed on the above Bill. In response to Dr John TSE Wing-ling's suggestion to accord priority to the Bills Committee, members had earlier agreed that the Bill should be discussed by the Panel on Environmental Affairs first, and that the Panel should report to the House Committee on whether further study by a Bills Committee was necessary.
7. On behalf of Miss Christine LOH, Chairman of the Panel, Dr TSE reported that the Panel had discussed the Bill at its meeting on 7 January 1997 and recommended that further study by a Bills Committee was not necessary.
8. In response to the Chairman, the Legal Adviser referred members to the report of the Legal Service Division on the Bill which was considered by the House Committee on 5 July 1996. The Legal Service Division was satisfied that the legal and drafting aspects of the Bill were in order.
9. Members agreed that the Bills Committee should be removed from the waiting list and that the Second Reading debate on the Bill could resume.
V.Further reports by the Legal Service Division on outstanding bills
(a) Motor Vehicles (First Registration Tax) (Amendment)(No 2) Bill 1996
10. The Legal Adviser said that members had agreed at the meeting on 29 November 1996 to support the Bill in principle. In response to some queries subsequently raised by Mr Ronald ARCULLI, the Secretary for the Treasury had agreed to clarify in his speech during the Second Reading debate that the condition of payment of additional first registration tax on the resale of a vehicle imported for personal use would only be imposed if the increase was related to tax avoidance or under-declaration of the vehicle value upon importation. In the circumstances, Mr ARCULLI had agreed to support the Bill.
11. Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.
(b) Carriage by Air Bill
(LegCo Paper No. LS 77/96-97)
12. Members noted the report and agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.
VI.Legal Service Division report on bills referred to the House Committee under Standing Order 42(3A)
(a) Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill 1996
(LegCo Paper No. LS 76/96-97)
|13. The Legal Adviser said that while the legal and drafting aspects of the Bill were in order, the Legal Service Division had sought clarification from the Administration on some technical points on the draft Legal Aid (Assessment of Resources and Contributions) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 which was proposed to come into operation at the same time as the Bill. The Administration had now agreed to prepare a revised version of the draft Regulation.||Chairman|
14. Miss Margaret NG said that the legal profession felt that the Bill was long overdue. Although the proposed adjustments were on the low side compared with the prices of the day, she asked members to support the Bill for the benefit of legal aid recipients. The Chairman expressed concern that the Bill did not address the request of the Bills Committee on Coroners Bill that legal aid should be extended to persons attending death inquests. Miss NG said that the Administration had agreed to consider the matter in the context of an overall review scheduled for early 1997. The Chairman undertook to seek clarification from the Chief Secretary.
|15. Subject to the revised draft Regulation being in order, members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.||ALA1|
(b) Enduring Powers of Attorney Bill
Powers of Attorney (Amendment) Bill 1996
(LegCo Paper No. LS 81/96-97)
16. The Legal Adviser said that the Legal Service Division was still scrutinizing the Bills and would give a further report to members.
17. Mr Andrew CHENG, Deputy Chairman of the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services, said that the Panel had discussed and agreed to support the Bills in principle.
18. In response to Miss Margaret NG, the Legal Adviser said that a summary of the specific comments made by the various organizations was attached to the LegCo Brief. Their responses were broadly in favour of the proposed enduring power of attorney scheme. On safeguards against abuse of enduring power of attorney, any interested party could apply to the High Court for an order for revocation of the enduring power of attorney or removal of an attorney.
|19. Members agreed to support the Bill in principle, pending a further report from the Legal Service Division.||ALA4|
(c) Freight Containers (Safety) Bill
(LegCo Paper No. LS 78/96-97)
20. The Legal Adviser said that the Bill sought to extend an international convention to Hong Kong and to introduce safety standards for containers user for domestic and international transport. The Sino-British Joint Liaison Group had agreed that the convention should apply to Hong Kong before and after 30 June 1997.
21. In view of the implications of the Bill on the shipping and container industries, Mrs Miriam LAU suggested and members agreed that a Bills Committee be set up. The following members agreed to join the Bills Committee : Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, Mr Howard YOUNG and Mr Lawrence YUM Sin-ling.
(d) Trade Unions (Amendment) Bill 1997 - Member's Bill introduced by Mr LEE Cheuk-yan
(LegCo Paper No. LS 80/96-97)
|22. The Legal Adviser said that the Bill sought to allow registered trade unions to establish a political fund. As highlighted in the report, the Legal Service Division would follow up on a number of technical points. He added that Mr LEE Cheuk-yan, Member in charge of the Bill, had already circulated a note explaining details of the Bill to members.||ALA5|
23. The Chairman said that the Panel on Manpower would be briefed on the Bill by Mr LEE on 20 January 1997.
24. Members agreed not to set up a Bills Committee to study the Bill.
VII.Further business for the LegCo sitting on 15 January 1997
Bill - 1st and 2nd Reading
Security and Guarding Services (Amendment) Bill 1997
(Member's Bill to be introduced by Mr CHAN Wing-chan)
25. The Chairman said that the above Bill would be introduced into LegCo on 15 January 1997 and considered by the House Committee on 17 January 1997.
VIII.Business for the LegCo sitting on 22 January 1997
(LegCo Paper No. CB(3) 439/96-97)
26. 20 questions (six oral and 14 written) had been tentatively scheduled.
27. No statement had been notified.
(c) Government Motion
28. No motion had been notified.
(d) Bills - 1st and 2nd Readings
(i) Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1997
(ii) Auxiliary Forces Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997
(iii) Housing (Amendment) Bill 1997
(Member's Bill to be introduced by Mr Bruce LIU)
29. The Chairman said that the above Bills would be introduced into LegCo on 22 January 1997 and considered by the House Committee on 31 January 1997.
(e)Motion debate on 'Rental assistance'
30. Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr James TO.
(f) Motion debate on 'Ma On Shan/Tai Wai rail link'
31. Members noted that the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr CHOY Kan-pui had been considered at the last meeting.
32. The Chairman advised members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments to the above motions, if any, was 15 January 1997.
IX.Advance information on motion debate for the LegCo sitting on 29 January 1997
Motion to be moved by Mrs Elizabeth WONG
33. On behalf of Mrs Elizabeth WONG who was not at the meeting, Mr LEE Cheuk-yan said that Mrs WONG intended to move a motion for the adjournment of the Council at the sitting on 29 January 1997 for the purpose of a debate. The subject of the debate would be along the lines that 'In order to maintain the independence, impartiality and credibility of the President of the Legislative Council, the Hon Mr Andrew WONG Wan-fat should voluntarily relinquish his presidency'.
34. The Secretary General drew members' attention to Standing Order No. 9(4) which stated that a Member may move a motion for the adjournment of the Council 'for the purpose of raising any public matter for which the Government is responsible, with a view to eliciting a reply from a designated public officer.' He said that the proposed subject matter did not appear to be one for which the Government was responsible.
35. In response to Mr LEE, the Chairman advised that the deadline for giving notice of motions to be moved at the sitting on 29 January 1997 was 14 January 1997, whereas that for an adjournment debate was 20 January 1997.
36. Mr LEE agreed to advise Mrs WONG accordingly.
X.Reports of Panels/Bills Committees/Subcommittees
Report of the Bills Committee on the Environmental Impact Assessment Bill
(LegCo Paper No. CB(1) 640/96-97)
37. Mr Edward HO, Chairman of the Bills Committee, referred members to the report and said that subject to the Committee stage amendments to be moved by the Administration, the Bills Committee recommended that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed on 29 January 1997.
38. In response to Mr James TIEN as to whether the enactment of the Bill would have adverse effects on residential developments, Mr HO said that all projects that were likely to have significant impacts on the environment were listed as designated projects in Schedule 2 to the Bill. A residential development would be taken as a designated project if it had no less than 2,000 flats and was not served by public sewerage networks by the time a flat was occupied.
39. Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.
XI.Any Other Business
Governor's Question Time on 23 January 1997
|40. Miss Margaret NG, Chairman of the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services, said that the Panel had discussed the development of the case of Judge Caird at its meeting held the day before. The Panel was dissatisfied that the Governor had decided not to appoint a judicial tribunal to investigate the case and to allow Judge Caird to retire on medical ground. The Panel would like to ask the Governor to respond to Members' questions relating to the case at the forthcoming Question Time. Members agreed that the Chairman should raise the matter with the Chief Secretary.||Chairman|
41. In response to Miss Emily LAU, members did not consider it appropriate to include the case of Mr LEUNG Ming-yin as a topic for the Governor's Question Time as the case was being dealt with by the Select Committee.
42. The meeting ended at 4.42 pm.
Legislative Council Secretariat
15 January 1997
Last Updated on 16 August 1999