Film Censorship (Amendment) Bill 1998:

Response to the Submission from the Law Society of Hong Kong

  1. Remedy available for persons aggrieved by exhibition of still films exempted from submission

    The Film Censorship Ordinance already provides for venues for lodging complaints and/or appeals against the decision of the Film Censorship Authority (the Authority) or a censor. This right is unaffected by the proposed Section 8A. A person aggrieved on moral, religious, educational or other grounds by the exhibition of a still film whether or not the still film has been exempt from submission or classification can lodge a complaint in writing with the Authority. The Authority will investigate into the complaint and if deemed necessary, invoke new Section 8A(3) to require the submission of the still film under Section 8 of the Film Censorship Ordinance (the Ordinance) for classification. After examining the still film, the Authority may approve exhibition of the still film either as a still film exempted from classification or as a particular category of film (i.e. Category I, IIA, IIB or III as appropriate). If a person is aggrieved by the classification of the still film on moral, religious, educational or other grounds, he may have recourse provided under Section 19 and request the Board of Review to review the decision of the Film Censorship Authority or a censor.

  2. Time frame for the delivery of services to the public

    The purpose of the proposed amendment is to empower the Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting (the Secretary) to determine the statutory times frames for delivery of the various services to the public by way of regulation so as to obviate the need for frequent legislative amendment to the Film Censorship Ordinance (the Ordinance). The specified time frames in Sections 9(1), 10(5), 15(B)(4)(a) and 15K(5) have therefore been replaced by "prescribed period" in Sections 9(3), 10(5), 15(B)(4)(b) and 15K(5). A new Section 29(1)(p) has been added to empower the Secretary to provide for, by regulation, any period to be prescribed under the Ordinance. And the period prescribed under Sections 9(3), 10(5), 15B(4)(b) and 15K(5) are set out in new Schedule 5 to the Film Censorship (Amendment) Regulation 1998 which will be made on the day of enactment of the Film Censorship (Amendment) Ordinance 1998.

    The Film Censorship Authority, i.e. the Commissioner for Television and Entertainment Licensing, will from time to time promulgate performance pledges in relation to the delivery of film classification services to reflect the efficiency measures taken to enhance the effectiveness of its services. Reports on the compliance with the performance pledges are included in Controlling Officer's annual report which is submitted to the Legislative Council for scrutiny.

  3. 3. Chinese version of the Bill

    Comments of our Law Drafting Counsel for the Chinese text are at Annex.

[Film Censorship - time frame.doc]


Comments on the Law Society's Views
in respect of the Chinese version of the Bill

Section 8A(3)

1. The Chinese text has the same meaning as the English text and no revision is necessary. In particular -

(a) the Authority may require a person to submit still film by notice in writing (instead of by serving a notice on that person);

(b) it is correct to say because
should qualify as well.

Section 19(2A)

2.(a) The English text of the subsection first sets out what the "decision" is by reference to "subsection (2)". It then refers to "the request" as the one "to which the decision relates". The Chinese text of the subsection, however, has to first set out what the is without
reference to . It is therefore not appropriate to adopt a direct translation of "the
request to which the decision relates". In the bill, the subsection says ,
which is a clearer version than .

(b)It is whether the itself (rather than ) is
that matters.

Section 19(2B)

3.(a) The expression appears twice in the subsection and there is no reason why the
expression is more particularised in its second occurrence.

(b) is in order and has the same meaning as the English text. It is
not necessary to change it to .

(c) As for and , please see
comments in paragraph 2.

Section 15B(4)(b)(iii)

4.(a) The existing version () is in order. In that version,
is the subject and is a description of that subject. The emphasis is on
that is .

(b)In the proposed version (), the verb is
without a subject. The emphasis is on someone .