LC Paper No. CB(2)1658/98-99(01)

Administration's Further Response to Points raised
on 4 and 5 March 1999 by Members of the Bills Committee
on Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 1999

C1: To consider a suggestion that the order of listing the constituents of the FCs should be reviewed so that it is more user-friendly.

A1: At its meeting on 4 March, the Bills Committee asked the Administration to consider re-organizing the items in the lists of electorates for functional constituencies so as to make them easier to read.

There are two options. The items in each of the lists of electorates in the new Schedules can be re-organized either according to alphabetical order or in order of the number of strokes in Chinese character. Using the list of electorates for the Wholesale and Retail functional constituency, we have prepared samples which are shown in Annex I. We welcome Members' views.

C2: To provide a list of proposed effective dates of the various provisions of the Bill.

A2:Please see Annex II.

C3: To give the Administration's view on whether the provision in Section 11 of the Legislative Council Ordinance regarding the emergency session of the LegCo is in conformity with Article 69 of the Basic Law which stipulates that the first term of LegCo should be two years.

A3: The existing section 11 of the Legislative Council Ordinance (Cap. 542) was added by way of a Member's Committee Stage Amendment during the passage of the Ordinance in 1997. The proposed amendment was finally passed and became part of the legislation. Thereafter we had carefully considered the relationship of this provision with the Basic Law and concluded that the provision was not inconsistent with the Basic Law. In this connection, Members may wish to note that a provision with similar effect as section 11(2) of the Ordinance also exists in the legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance (relevant extract at Annex III).

Constitutional Affairs Bureau
April 1999

Tentative Commencement Dates for the
Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 1999

We propose the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 1999 to take effect as follows :-

  1. The following provisions :-

    - should take effect as soon as possible after the Bill is passed only for the purpose of enabling arrangements to be made for the second general election in 2000 (e.g. compiling voter registers in early 2000);

  2. - should take full effect on 1 July 2000.

    (Note : Section 20 of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1) provides that if an Ordinance is to commence on a day to be notified in the Gazette, the notice may fix different days for the same provisions to commence for different purposes.)

    (i) The following clauses in the Bill involve repeal or amendment of provisions in the Legislative Council Ordinance which provide for the constitution of the first term LegCo. These provisions should be retained until the expiry of the first term, and therefore the following amendment clauses cannot take full effect before 1 July 2000.

    Clauses 2(a)(i) & (ii), 2(c), 12, 13, 16, 33(a), 34(a), 36, 41(a), 42, 44, 46Establishment of Functional Constituencies (FCs), composition of FCs and eligibility to register as an elector in FCs

    Clause 3 Commencement date for the term of office of the first term LegCo

    Clauses 10, 11 Establishment of Geographical Constituencies (GCs) and number of LegCo Members to be returned for GCs

    Clauses 14, 15, 35(a), 43 Establishment and constitution of the Election Committee (EC), number of LegCo Members to be returned by EC, and number of votes to be cast in elections by the EC

    (ii) Clauses 19, 20, 22, 25, 28, 29, 30, 32(a)&(c), 33(c), 34(c), 35(c), 47(a)(ii) seek to apply the new arrangements for the termination of election proceedings to future elections. They cannot take full effect before the expiry of the first term LegCo and be applied to by-elections during the remaining term because corresponding amendments to the subsidiary legislation will be required before the new arrangements can be implemented.

(b) For the remaining provisions, they can take effect as soon as possible after the Bill is passed.

The above proposal is provisional only. We will publish the commencement notice after the Bill is passed.