LegCo Panel on Public Service
Meeting on 26 May 1997
Appeal Channel in the Civil Service


This paper summarises the proposal to replace the avenue for civil servants to make representations to or petition the Governor, the Secretary of State and The Queen upon the lapsing of the Colonial Regulations (CR) on 1 July 1997.


2. As the avenue for civil servants to petition the Governor, the Secretary of State and The Queen presently provided under CR 68-70 (Annexed) will lapse on 1 July 1997, we have been considering with staff side representatives suggestions for an alternative appeal process for civil servants. Members were informed on 24 February 1997 that we have identified two possible options to provide for an appeal channel in the civil service -

  1. to replace the present right of appeal under CR 68 -70 by appeal to the Chief Executive (CE); or

  2. to establish an appeal mechanism under the umbrella of the Public Service Commission (PSC) or some variation of this.

Present Position

3. Petitions to the Secretary of State or The Queen under CR 69 and 70 are rare - only six cases during 1990-1996. We have agreed with the Staff Side that after the transfer of sovereignty the appeal process should end in Hong Kong. In this connection, we intend that the right of officers to make representations to the Governor, the Secretary of State and The Queen should be collectively replaced by a similar right of appeal to the CE. This would be in addition to the general right of persons living in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to petition the CE under BL 48(13). Therefore, as an immediate solution to provide a post-June 1997 channel of appeal, we intend to include a right to petition the CE by civil servants in the proposed Executive Order to be issued by the CE under BL 48(4) to replace the relevant Letters Patent and CRs on the administration of the civil service.

4. We are prepared to explore further the proposal at paragraph 2(b) above to provide for the establishment of an appeal mechanism. This mechanism can be provided for in the proposed Executive Order on the administration of the civil service. Under the earlier proposal to set up a review board under the umbrella of the PSC to consider appeals involving appointments, promotions and disciplinary issues, the board will be advisory to the CE whose decision will be final. However, this appeal mechanism does not provide for police officers to have access to the proposed review board because their appointment, promotion and discipline are not within the PSC’s purview. This review board also cannot consider appeals on disciplinary cases for junior officers of the other disciplined services who are subject to their own departmental disciplinary legislation.

Way Forward

5. We are consulting the Staff Side further on the option, the instruments to and the coverage of the proposed appeal mechanism.

Civil Service Branch

May 1997

Last Updated on 21 August 1998