PLC Paper No. LS 44
Paper for the House Committee Meeting
of the Provisional Legislative Council
on 7 November 1997
Legal Service Division Report on Subsidiary Legislation Gazetted
on 31 October 1997
|Date of Tabling in Provisional LegCo||: ||5 November 1997
|Amendment to be made by|| : ||3 December 1997 (or 10 December 1997
if extended by resolution)
Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance (129 of 1997)
Electoral Affairs Commission (Registration of Electors) (Geographical Constituencies) (Legislative Council) Regulation (L.N. 499)
The Legislative Council Ordinance (134 of 1997) requires the Electoral Registration Officer (*the ERO*) to compile every year a provisional register of electors for geographical constituencies and a final register of electors for those constituencies. The object of this Regulation is to provide the procedure for the preparation of those registers. The main features of the Regulation are as follows.
The Regulation specifies the form in which a provisional and final registers is to be prepared (section 3).
A provisional register will be compiled -
- on the basis of the existing final register ("rolling-over"); and
- on applications from eligible persons (section 4).
In respect of (a) above, before rolling-over the existing final register to the next provisional register, the ERO may make inquiries regarding persons registered in the existing register to ascertain their continuous eligibility (section 7) and determine whether those persons are registered in the appropriate part of the register (section 8). In compiling a provisional register, the ERO is required to enter on an omissions list those persons who are no longer eligible (section 9). The ERO is required to publish a notice that omissions list is available for public inspection (section 10).
In respect of (b) above, the ERO is required to determine whether or not an applicant is eligible for registration and may ask for additional information. If his application is accepted, his particulars will be entered into the provisional register (section 5).
The ERO is required to publish every year, not later than 15 February, a notice that provisional register is available for public inspection (section 13).
A person who considers that a registered person is not eligible to be registered as an elector or in the part in which that person's name and relevant particulars are recorded in the provisional register, may file a notice of objection with the ERO (section 14).
A person who is aggrieved by the decision of the ERO in respect of himself, may lodge a notice of claim with the ERO (section 15).
The ERO is required to deliver to the Revising Officer a copy of each notice of objection or notice of claim received by the ERO (section 16).
The ERO is required to publish in 1998, not later than 15 March, and in any subsequent year, not later than 31 March, the final register (section 20).
Section 22 sets out the offences under the Regulation. A person commits an offence under the section is liable to a fine at level 2 ($5,000) and to imprisonment for 6 months. He may further be disqualified from, for example, being registered as an elector and nominated as a candidate at a Legislative Council election.
The provisions of the Regulation are broadly similar to those of the former Boundary and Election Commission (Registration of Electors) (Geographical Constituencies) Regulation (Cap. 432 sub. leg.) (*the former Regulation*). However, there are some new provisions in the Regulation which -
- makes it a statutory requirement that the ERO should inform the person concerned by registered post (by ordinary post in the former Regulation) if his decision may entail adverse consequences to that person;
- empowers the ERO, for the purpose of preparing a register, to require a public authority to furnish such information as the ERO may specify (section 6);
- requires the ERO to publish the omissions list separately (section 10);
- makes it an offence for a person who fails to furnish information in response to a requirement under section 6 (section 22(4)). In respect of an offence under section 22(4), the Regulation creates a statutory defence for the person charged to prove that he did not know or could not have reasonably ascertained or provided the information required of him (section 22(6));
- the Regulation makes it a penalty for a person who commits an offence under section 22(1) or (2) (related to making or conspiring with another person to make a false statement regarding voter registration) to be disqualified from being registered as an elector or nominated as a candidate at a Legislative Council election (section 22(7)); and
- makes it a penalty for a person who commits an offence under section 22(3) or (5) (related to using an extract from a register for non-election purpose) to be disqualified from being nominated as a candidate at a Legislative Council election (section 22(8)).
Members may refer to PLC Brief : REO 14/30/1(CR) of October 1997 from Registration and Electoral Office for background information.
The Regulation will come into operation on 5 November 1997.
*Gambling Ordinance (Cap. 148)
Gambling (Amendment) Regulation 1997 (L.N. 500)
This Regulation increases with effect from 13 December 1997 the fees payable for granting or renewing lottery, tombola, amusements with prizes, trade promotion competition and mahjong/tin kau licences. The increases amount to about 7% over the existing fees, which were last revised in December 1996.
According to the PLC Brief (HAB CR 1/21/26 Pt. 5 issued by the Home Affairs Bureau in October 1997), the increased fees are intended to reflect the cost of the relevant services at 1997-98 prices in accordance with the Government Consumption Expenditure Deflator (GCED) movement. Members may also refer to the Brief for detailed cost computation and a summary of existing and proposed fees.
*Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance (Cap. 349)
Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1997 (L.N. 501)
This Regulation increases with effect from 12 December 1997 the scaled fees for the issue or renewal of a licence for a hotel or guesthouse by 7%. The existing scale of fees have been in force since 1 August 1996.
According to the PLC Brief (S/F (2) to HAB/CR/1/21/26 III issued by the Home Affairs Bureau in October 1997), the existing fees only recover about 24% of the full cost. The proposed increase is in line with the movement of GCED over the relevant period.
Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1)
Rectification of Error (No. 2) Order 1997 (L.N. 502)
This Order corrects an error in the number of a section referred to in the Family Status Discrimination (Formal Investigations) Rules.
*Legal Practitioners Ordinance (Cap. 159)
Overseas Lawyers (Qualification for Admission) (Fees) (Amendment) (No. 2) Rules 1997 (L.N. 503)
These Rules increase with effect from 1 January 1998 the fees for applying for a certificate and taking the Overseas Lawyers Qualifications Examination under the principal rules by 10%.
Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden Corporation Ordinance (Cap. 1156)
Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden Bylaw (L.N. 504)
This Bylaw regulates access to and conduct of people in the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden. The Garden is managed and controlled by the statutory Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden Corporation under the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden Corporation Ordinance (Cap. 1156).
The main provisions of the Bylaw cover entry during opening hours by visitors only, protection of the property and the flora and fauna of the Garden and restrictions on the activities of visitors. Non-compliance with certain provisions are made offences which may be prosecuted in the name of the Corporation or by the Secretary for Justice and are punishable with fines up to $5,000 (Level 2).
Section 22 of the Bylaw refers to the *Attorney General*. The solicitors for the Corporation has been advised of the new title of the post ('secretary for Justice*) and to make the necessary amendment.
Immigration (Amendment) Regulation 1997
Immigration (Amendment) Regulation 1997 (L.N. 432 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997 (L.N. 505)
Registration of Persons (Amendment) Regulation 1997
Registration of Persons (Amendment) Regulation 1997 (L.N. 433 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997 (L.N. 506)
Marriage Reform (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1997
Marriage Reform (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1997 (L.N. 434 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997 (L.N. 507)
Births Registration (Special Registers) Ordinance (Amendment of Fifth Schedule) Order 1997
Births Registration (Special Registers) Ordinance (Amendment of Fifth Schedule) Order 1997 (L.N. 435 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997 (L.N. 508)
Deaths Registration (Special Registers) Ordinance (Amendment of Fourth Schedule) Order 1997
Deaths Registration (Special Registers) Ordinance (Amendment of Fourth Schedule) Order 1997 (L.N. 436 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997 (L.N. 509)
Marriage Ordinance (Amendment of Second Schedule) Order 1997
Marriage Ordinance (Amendment of Second Schedule) Order 1997 (L.N. 437 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997 (L.N. 510)
These Notices appoint 31 October 1997 as the day on which the 6 relevant items of subsidiary legislation (L.N. 432 - 437) come into operation.
Members may recall that the relevant subsidiary legislation seek to increase the fees for various services provided by the Immigration Department.
CHEUNG Ping-kam, Arthur (L.N. 500 - 510)
LAM Ping-man, Stephen (L.N. 499)
Assistant Legal Advisers
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
3 November 1997
* denotes fee increase