RULES OF PROCEDURE OF

THE PROVISIONAL LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL OF
THE HONG KONG
SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION


MADE BY THE PROVISIONAL LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL OF THE HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION ON 12 APRIL 1997.

PART A

MEMBERS AND OFFICERS OF THE COUNCIL

1. Swearing in

   Members of the Council shall be sworn in in accordance with Article 104 of the Basic Law after the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

2. Language

   (1) A Member may address the Council in either Putonghua, Cantonese or the English language.

   (2) Every petition shall be in the Chinese language or the English language.

   (3) A petition in the Chinese language shall be accompanied by an English translation certified to be correct by a court translator.

   (4) A petition in the English language shall be accompanied by a Chinese translation certified to be correct by a court translator.

3. Presiding in Council and in Committee of the Whole Council

   (1) There shall be a President of the Council who, when present at a meeting of the Council or a committee of the whole Council and able, in his opinion, to act, shall preside or be Chairman.

   (2) In the absence of the President from a meeting of the Council or a committee of the whole Council or when, in his opinion, he is unable to act, there shall preside at that meeting -

     (a) the President's deputy; or

     (b) in the absence of the President's deputy from that meeting or when, in his opinion, he is unable to act, the Member who is elected by and from among the Members present.

   (3) The President's deputy or other Member presiding shall enjoy all those powers conferred by these Rules of Procedure on the President or Chairman that are exercisable in respect of the meeting, or part of the meeting, of the Council or a committee of the whole Council at which the President's deputy or that Member presides or is Chairman, or in respect of which the President has requested that he preside or be Chairman.

   (4) In addition to those powers mentioned in subrule (3) of this Rule, the President's deputy shall enjoy such of those powers conferred by these Rules of Procedure on the President or Chairman of a committee of the whole Council as the President may specify by notice in the Gazette.

4. Election of President

   (1) Subject to subrule (2) of this Rule, the President shall be elected by and from among the Members.

   (2) The President shall be a Chinese citizen of not less than 40 years of age, who is a permanent resident of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region with no right of abode in any foreign country and has ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than 20 years.

   (3) The President shall hold office until the dissolution of the Council.

   (4) The person holding the office of President immediately before a dissolution of the Council, or in his absence or inability to act, the person who was last the President's deputy, shall preside at a meeting of the Council held for the consideration of urgent business during that dissolution and shall be Chairman at a meeting of a committee of the whole Council held in consequence of such a meeting of the Council. If both such persons are absent or unable to act, the Member who is elected by and among the Members present, shall preside.

5. President's Deputy

   (1) The chairman of the House Committee elected as such under Rule 75(2) (House Committee) shall be the President's deputy.

   (2) In the absence of the chairman of the House Committee or when, in his opinion, he is unable to act, the deputy chairman of the House Committee elected as such under Rule 75(2) (House Committee) shall act as President's deputy.

   (3) The reference to the "chairman of the House Committee" in subrules (1) and (2) shall not include a person elected to act as chairman during the temporary absence of the chairman and deputy chairman.

6. Duties of the Clerk

   (1) The Clerk to the Provisional Legislative Council shall be responsible for advising the President on all matters relating to the procedure of the Council.

   (2) The Clerk shall be responsible for keeping the minutes of the proceedings of the Council and of committees of the whole Council. The minutes of proceedings shall record the Members attending, all decisions taken, and details of every division held.

   (3) The Clerk shall be responsible for preparing from day to day a Council Agenda Item Book showing all future business of which notice has been given. The Council Agenda Item Book shall be open to the inspection of Members and public officers acting in the course of their duties relevant to Council business at all reasonable hours.

   (4) The Clerk, acting under the directions of the President, shall be responsible for preparing for each meeting an Agenda of the Council showing the business for that meeting.

   (5) The Clerk shall be responsible for the custody of the votes, records, bills and other documents laid before the Council, which shall be open to inspection by Members and public officers acting in the course of their duties relevant to Council business at all reasonable hours, and by other persons under arrangements approved by the President.

   (6) The Clerk, acting under the directions of the President, shall b