RULES OF PROCEDURE OF
36. Time and Manner of Speaking
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.
RULES OF DEBATE
(1) A Member shall speak standing and shall address his observations to the President or Chairman.
(2) When the President or Chairman rises, during proceedings in Council or in committee of the whole Council, every Member shall be seated.
(3) If two or more Members rise or raise their hands at the same time to speak, the President or Chairman shall select one Member and call on him to speak.
(4) When a Member has finished speaking he shall resume his seat and any other Members wishing to speak shall rise or raise their hands.
(5) Subject to Rule 37 (Recommendations of House Committee as to Time of Speaking) and Rule 65(3) (Confirmation of Bills), a Member shall not, without the permission of the President or the Chairman, to be given only in exceptional circumstances, make a speech lasting more than 15 minutes. (Amended 21 June 1997)
(6) The restriction on speaking time referred to in subrule (5) shall not apply to designated public officers.
37. Recommendations of House Committee as to Time of Speaking
(1) In relation to any motion or amendment to a motion (other than a motion intended to have legislative effect) to be moved at a meeting of the Council, whether or not the motion or amendment has at the time been placed on the Agenda of the Council, the House Committee may recommend �
(a) that the mover of the motion should not speak for more than a specified number of minutes (such period to be inclusive of any speech in reply under Rule 38(3) (Occasions when a Member may Speak more than once));
(b) that the mover of an amendment to the motion should not speak for more than a specified number of minutes; and
(c) that other Members each should not speak for more than a specified number of minutes.
(2) Where the House Committee so recommends under subrule (1) the Chairman shall cause the President to be notified in writing of the Committee's recommendations.
(3) Any recommendations of the House Committee under subrule (1), if accepted by the President (in which event he shall so inform Members as soon as practicable prior to calling upon the Member to move the motion), shall be binding upon all Members, but not upon designated public officers, and the President shall direct any Member speaking in excess of the recommended specified time to discontinue his speech.
38. Occasions when a Member may Speak more than once
(1) Save with the leave of the President, a Member may not speak more than once on a question, except �
(a) in committee of the whole Council; or
(b) in explanation as provided in subrule (2) of this Rule; or
(c) in the case of the mover of a motion, in reply as provided in subrule (3) of this Rule; or
(d) upon a motion "That this Council thanks the Chief Executive for his address" as provided in subrule (6) of this Rule.
(2) A Member who has spoken on a question may again be heard, if the President so permits, to explain some part of his speech which has been misunderstood, but when speaking he shall not introduce new matter.
(3) In the Council the mover of a motion may reply after all other Members present have had an opportunity of speaking and before the question is put; but the mover of an amendment shall not have the right of reply.
(4) A Member who has spoken on a question may speak again on an amendment moved to that question, and on a motion that the debate now be adjourned moved during the debate on that question.
(5) No Member may speak on a question after it has been fully put to the Council or a committee of the whole Council for decision by the President or Chairman.
(6) A designated public officer who has spoken on a motion "That this Council thanks the Chief Executive for his address" may speak a second time upon that motion in reply to any matter raised during the debate on the motion.
A Member shall not interrupt another Member, except �
(a) by rising to a point of order, when the Member speaking shall resume his seat and the Member interrupting shall direct attention to the point which he wishes to bring to notice and submit it to the President or Chairman for decision; or
(b) to seek elucidation of some matter raised by that Member in the course of his speech, if the Member speaking is willing to give way and resume his seat and the Member wishing to interrupt is called by the President or Chairman.
40. Adjournment of Debate or of Proceedings of a Committee
(1) A Member who has risen to speak on a question in the Council may move without notice that the debate be now adjourned. Thereupon the President shall propose the question on that motion.
(2) When a motion that the debate be now adjourned has been agreed to, the debate on the question then before the Council shall stand adjourned and the Council shall proceed to the next item of business.
(3) When a motion that the debate be now adjourned has been negatived, the debate on the question then before the Council shall be continued and no further motion that the debate be now adjourned shall be moved during that debate except by a designated public officer.
(4) When the Council is in committee a Member may move without notice that further proceedings of the committee be now adjourned. Thereupon the Chairman shall propose the question on that motion. If the motion is agreed to, the Council shall resume; but if the motion is negatived, the committee shall continue its proceedings.
(5) It shall not be in order to move an amendment to a motion under the provisions of this Rule.
(6) A debate adjourned under the provisions of subrule (2) of this Rule may be resumed at a subsequent meeting of the Council provided that the Member or public officer who moved the motion for that debate, or in the case of a debate on a bill, the Member or public officer in charge of the bill, shall give notice in writing to the Clerk of his intention to resume the debate not less than 5 clear days before the day on which the debate is to be resumed:
Provided that the President may in his discretion dispense with such notice.
(7) Proceedings of a committee of the whole Council adjourned under the provisions of subrule (4) of this Rule may be resumed at a subsequent meeting of the committee provided that the Member or public officer in charge of the bill to which the adjourned proceedings relate shall give notice in writing to the Clerk of his intention to resume the proceedings not less than 5 clear days before the day on which the proceedings are to be resumed:
Provided that the Chairman may in his discretion dispense with such notice.
(8) The provisions of subrules (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) of this Rule shall apply to any debate or proceedings resumed under the provisions of subrules (6) and (7).
41. Contents of Speeches
(1) A Member shall restrict his observations to the subject under discussion and shall not introduce matter irrelevant to that subject.
(2) Reference shall not be made to a case pending in a court of law in such a way as, in the opinion of the President or Chairman, might prejudice that case.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in Rule 65 (Confirmation of Bills) and Rule 67 (The Chief Executive Returning a Bill Passed to the Council for Reconsideration), it shall be out of order to attempt to reconsider a specific question on which the Council has taken a decision during the session, except in debate on a substantive motion to rescind that decision moved with the permission of the President. (Amended 21 June 1997)
(4) It shall be out of order to use offensive and insulting language about Members of the Council.
(5) A Member shall not impute improper motives to another Member.
(6) The name of the Chief Executive shall not be used to influence the Council.
(7) The conduct of the Chief Executive or Members of the Executive Council or Members of the Provisional Legislative Council otherwise than in the performance of their official duties shall not be raised.
(8) The conduct of Judges or other persons performing judicial functions shall not be raised.
42. Behaviour of Members not Speaking
During a meeting of the Council �
(a) all Members shall enter or leave the Council properly attired and with decorum; (Amended 10 September 1997)
(b) no Member shall cross the floor of the Council unnecessarily;
(c) Members shall not read newspapers, books, letters or other documents, except such matter therein as may be directly connected with the business of the Council; and
(d) while a Member is speaking all other Members shall be silent and shall not make unseemly interruptions.
43. Application of Rules to Committees
The Rules in this Part shall apply to the proceedings in a standing or select committee unless the chairman of the committee orders otherwise.