on 22 October 1997
ITEM FOR ESTABLISHMENT SUBCOMMITTEE OF
HEAD 80 - JUDICIARY
Subhead 001 Salaries
Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the creation of the following supernumerary post in the Judiciary for the period up to 28 September 2000 -
1 Judge of the Court of First Instance
A Judge of the Court of First Instance of the High Court has been appointed as the Chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) until 28 September 2000. A replacement is necessary to ensure that the work of the Judiciary as a whole would not be adversely affected during the period.
2.We propose to create one supernumerary post of Judge of the Court of First Instance for the period up to 28 September 2000.
3.On 29 September 1997, the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal, appointed the Honourable Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing of the Court of First Instance as Chairman of the EAC for a
period of three years up to 28 September 2000. Since then, Mr Justice Woo has been working full-time as Chairman of the EAC. The work of EAC covers a whole range of activities relating to the conduct and supervision of elections, the most imminent of which is the election of the first Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Legislative Council (SAR LegCo) to be held next year. Thus, one of its most urgent tasks is to submit, by 31 October 1997, recommendations to the Chief Executive on the delineation of geographical constituency boundaries for the first SAR LegCo election.
4.The work plan of the EAC showing its main activities in relation to the LegCo election up to the third quarter of 2000 is at the Enclosure. Moreover, since the terms of the Provisional Urban Council, the Provisional Regional Council and the Provisional District Boards will only last until 31 December 1999, it is necessary to make preparations, where appropriate, for the elections of their succeeding bodies before that date.
5.In order to ensure that the work of the Judiciary would not be adversely affected, the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs has, under delegated authority, created a supernumerary judicial post of Judge of the Court of First Instance with effect from 29 September 1997 for six months to provide a replacement to take over the judicial work of Mr Justice Woo. The duration of six months is the maximum period permissible for supernumerary directorate posts created under delegated authority. In view of EAC's work schedule as described above which will require the full attention of its Chairman, we consider it necessary for a replacement to take up Mr Justice Woo's judicial duties up to 28 September 2000. Upon approval of the creation of the present post by the Finance Committee, we will delete the one created under delegated authority.
6.The additional notional annual mid-point salary cost of this proposal is $2,172,600. The full annual average staff cost including salaries and staff on-cost is $4,748,772. We have not included any provision in the 1997-98 Estimates to meet the cost of this proposal. Subject to Members' approval, we will provide the supplementary provision required under delegated authority.
7.The Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance was enacted on 29 August 1997. It provides for the establishment of the EAC for the purpose of making recommendations regarding the delineation of geographical constituency boundaries and to be responsible for, inter alia, the conduct and supervision of elections, including the process for the formation of the Election Committee. There are two Members in addition to the Chairman and they are also appointed by the Chief Executive. As provided in the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance, the Chairman must be a Judge of the High Court appointed by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal.
CIVIL SERVICE BUREAU COMMENTS
8.The Civil Service Bureau considers the ranking and grading of the proposed supernumerary post appropriate having regard to its duties and level of responsibilities.
ADVICE OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON JUDICIAL SALARIES AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE
9.As the post is proposed on a supernumerary basis, we will report its creation, if approved, to the Standing Committee on Judicial Salaries and Conditions of Service in accordance with the agreed procedure.
Constitutional Affairs Bureau
Enclosure to EC(97-98)24
Main Activities of the Electoral Affairs Commission 1997 to 2000
|End September to October 1997
||Formulation of recommendations regarding the delineation of geographical constituency boundaries for the first SAR Legislative Council election and preparation of standing orders of the Commission
|By 31 October 1997
||Submission of recommendations to the Chief Executive on the delineation of geographical constituency boundaries for the Legislative Council election.
|September to November 1997
||Preparation of subsidiary legislation on voter registration.
|October 1997 to February 1998
||Preparation of subsidiary legislation and guidelines on electoral procedures.
|November 1997 to January 1998
||Promotion and conduct of voter registration.
||Establishment of a committee or committees to give advice to Returning Officers on the qualifications and disqualifications of candidates.
|February to April 1998
||Promotion and conduct of the formation of the Election Committee.
|February to May/June 1998
||Promotion and conduct of the Legislative Council election.
|Third quarter 1998
||Submission of report on the first SAR Legislative Council election to the Chief Executive. Post-election review of the systems and procedures, guidelines and subsidiary legislation.
||Review of the Legislative Council geographical constituency boundaries.
|First quarter 1999
||Annual updating of voter register.
||Submission of recommendations regarding Legislative Council geographical constituency boundaries to the Chief Executive.
|Third quarter 1999 tothird quarter 2000
||Preparation for conduct of voter registration exercise and the second Legislative Council election.