PLC Paper No. LS 33

Paper for the House Committee Meeting of the
Provisional Legislative Council
on 17 October 1997

Legal Service Division Report on Resolution under section 67 of the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance
(91 of 1997)

The Secretary for Home Affairs has given notice to move the above resolution on 29 October 1997 to seek the Provisional Legislative Council's approval of the Family Status Discrimination (Proceedings by Equal Opportunities Commission) Regulation ("the Regulation") made by the Secretary for Home Affairs.

2.Under section 67 of the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (91 of 1997) ("the Ordinance"), the Secretary for Home Affairs is empowered to make regulations specifying, inter alia -

  1. the circumstances in which the Equal Opportunities Commission ("the EOC") may bring proceedings if a person who is entitled to bring proceedings under section 54 of the Ordinance (claims under Part III or IV) does not do so; and

  2. the remedies which the EOC may seek to obtain in such proceedings.

3.This Regulation, which is basically modelled on the Sex Discrimination (Proceedings by the Equal Opportunities Commission) Regulation (Cap. 480 sub. leg.), provides that -

  1. the EOC may bring proceedings referred to in paragraph 2(a) above where the case raises a question of principle and it is in the interests of justice to do so and when it appears to the EOC that the claim is well founded; and

  2. in any such proceedings the EOC may apply for any remedies available to a claimant in the High Court, including a declaration or an injunction or both.

4.Members may refer to PLC Brief ref. HAB/CR/1/2/34 dated 6 October 1997 issued by the Home Affairs Bureau for background information.

5.According to paragraph 7 of the PLC Brief, the Regulation is scheduled to come into operation in November 1997.

6.The legal and drafting aspects of the resolution are in order.

Prepared by

Fung Sau-kuen, Connie
Assistant Legal Adviser
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
8 October 1997