PLC Paper No. LS 4/97-98
Paper for the House Committee Meeting
on 11 July 1997
Legal Service Division Report on
United Nations Sanctions Bill
Objects of the Bill
To empower the Chief Executive, upon the instruction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Central People Government, to make regulations to implement economic sanctions against a place outside the People Republic of China arising from decisions made by the United Nations Security Council.
Provisional LegCo Brief Reference
2. TIB CR14/46/13 issued by the Trade and Industry Bureau dated 8 July 1997.
Date of First Reading
3. 9 July 1997.
4. Hong Kong does not have any domestic legislation enabling the Government to impose on its own United Nations sanctions.
5. Previously such sanctions, take for instance, on Iraq, Angola, were implemented in Hong Kong through Orders in Council issued by the UK Government . These Orders lapsed at midnight, 30 June 1997.
6. In order to avoid a legal vacuum and to safeguard Hong Kong reputation as a responsible trading and financial centre, the Central People Government has agreed that the HKSAR government should enact legislation which will empower the Chief Executive, upon the instruction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to make regulations to implement UN sanctions.
7. Such regulations, however, are not subject to intervention of the Provisional Legislative Council (clause 3(5)) since UN sanctions are external affairs for which the Central People Government is responsible under the Basic Law.
8. A breach of such regulations on conviction on indictment shall be punishable by an unlimited fine and imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years (Clause 3(3)(b)). Such penalties are comparable to those specified in section 6A(2) of the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap.60) on restriction on import and export of strategic commodities.
9. No public consultation has been held.
Consultation with the Provisional Legislative Council
10. No consultation has been arranged so far.
11. This Bill is to avoid a legal vacuum and is a legislative tool to effect decisions within the prerogative of the Central People Government. The legal and drafting aspects of this Bill are in order and Members are recommended to support the Bill.
Ho Ying-chu, Anita
Assistant Legal Adviser
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
9 July 1997
Last Updated on 23 October 1997