LC Paper No. CB(2) 1795/98-99
Ref : CB2/H/5
House Committee of the Legislative Council
Minutes of the 28th meeting
held in the Legislative Council Chamber
at 3:50 pm on Friday, 23 April 1999
Members present :
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP (Chairman)
Dr Hon YEUNG Sum (Deputy Chairman)
Hon Kenneth TING Woo-shou, JP
Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, JP
Hon Cyd HO Sau-lan
Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Hon LEE Wing-tat
Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
Hon Martin LEE Chu-ming, SC, JP
Hon LEE Kai-ming, JP
Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
Dr Hon LUI Ming-wah, JP
Hon NG Leung-sing
Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
Hon Margaret NG Ngoi-yee
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP
Hon MA Fung-kwok
Hon James TO Kun-sun
Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
Hon HUI Cheung-ching
Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
Hon CHAN Kwok-keung
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon Bernard CHAN
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon Gary CHENG Kai-nam
Hon SIN Chung-kai
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Hon WONG Yung-kan
Hon Jasper TSANG Yok-sing, JP
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon LAU Kong-wah
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing, JP
Hon CHOY So-yuk
Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
Hon SZETO Wah
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting, JP
Hon LAW Chi-kwong, JP
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, JP
Hon FUNG Chi-kin
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP
Members absent :
Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Hon HO Sai-chu, JP
Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, JP
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Hon Mrs Selina CHOW LIANG Shuk-yee, JP
Hon Ambrose CHEUNG Wing-sum, JP
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Hon LAU Chin-shek, JP
Hon LAU Wong-fat, GBS, JP
Clerk in attendance :
Staff in attendance :
- Mrs Justina LAM
- Clerk to the House Committee
I. Confirmation of the minutes of the 27th meeting held on 16 April 1999
- Mr Ricky C C FUNG, JP
- Secretary General
- Mr Jimmy MA, JP
- Legal Adviser
- Mr LAW Kam-sang, JP
- Deputy Secretary General
- Mr LEE Yu-sung
- Senior Assistant Legal Adviser
- Miss Polly YEUNG
- Assistant Secretary General 1 (Acting)
- Mr Ray CHAN
- Assistant Secretary General 3
- Miss Connie FUNG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 3
- Mr Stephen LAM
- Assistant Legal Adviser 4
- Mr Arthur CHEUNG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 5
- Mr KAU Kin-wah
- Assistant Legal Adviser 6
- Mrs Vivian KAM
- Chief Assistant Secretary (Complaints)
- Miss Kathleen LAU
- Chief Public Information Officer
- Mr Andy LAU
- Chief Assistant Secretary (1)3 (Acting)
- Mr LAW Wing-lok
- Chief Assistant Secretary (2)5
- Mrs Betty LEUNG
- Chief Assistant Secretary (3)1
- Miss Mary SO
- Senior Assistant Secretary (2)8
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 1729/98-99)
1. The minutes were confirmed.II. Matters arising
(a) Report by the Chairman on his meeting with the Chief Secretary for Administration (CS)
2. The Chairman said that CS was informed of Members' request for the Chief Executive (CE)'s question and answer session on 6 May 1999 to be extended to two hours as well as the three topics suggested by Members. CS had pointed out that CE had been flexible about the duration of the question and answer session on the past two occasions.
3. Miss Emily LAU asked whether CE had already declined to extend the duration since in the notice issued by the Legislative Council (LegCo) Secretariat for the question and answer session on 6 May 1999, the time given was 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm. The Chairman responded that the notice was prepared prior to the House Committee's decision to request CE to extend the session to two hours. The Chairman added that he had written to CE on the matter and was awaiting CE's reply.
4. The Chairman further said that CS had emphasized that she and the Financial Secretary were giving personal attention to the monitoring of the progress of the Year 2000 (Y2K) compliance exercise in Government and non-government organizations providing essential services. CS had also advised that the Administration would expedite the putting in place of the contingency plans.
5. The Chairman informed members that CS had undertaken to send appropriate government officials to attend meetings of the subcommittee formed under the Panel on Economic Services to monitor follow-up actions to the recommendations of the three inquiry reports on the airport opening chaos.
(b) Merchant Shipping (Safety) (Carriage of Cargoes) (Amendment) Regulation 1999
(LC Paper No. LS 165/98-99)
6. The Legal Adviser referred members to the paper and said that the Administration had clarified that the term "terminal" in new section 8A of the Merchant Shipping (Safety)(Carriage of Cargoes) Regulation 1999 had no connection with "public cargo working area". The Administration had not, therefore, consulted the Hong Kong Cargo-Vessel Traders' Association Limited.
7. Members raised no further queries on the Amendment Regulation.
(c) Order of Speaking in Motion Debates
8. The Chairman informed members that CS had replied on the matter. CS had reiterated that the present arrangements regarding participation by Government officials in motion debates initiated by Members had worked well, and that no change was considered necessary.
9. Mr LEE Wing-tat said that under the Rules of Procedure, Members could wait until the public officer had spoken before indicating their intention to speak. It would be to the disadvantage of the Administration if it did not make arrangement for a public officer to speak both at the beginning and towards the end of a motion debate.
10. Miss Emily LAU expressed disappointment at CS's reply and suggested that the House Committee should consider how to take the matter forward.
11. The Chairman said that some members might not have the opportunity to read CS's letter which was issued to Members only on the day before. He said that he would seek the views of the Committee on Rules of Procedure at its meeting on 27 April 1999. He suggested that this matter be put on the agenda for discussion at the next meeting of the House Committee. Members agreed.
III. Business arising from previous Council meetings
(a) Legal Service Division's reports on bills referred to the House Committee in accordance with Rule 54(4)
(i) Adaptation of Laws (No. 10) Bill 1999
(LC Paper No. LS 147/98-99)
12. The Legal Adviser said that the Bill sought to revise six Ordinances and subsidiary legislation dealing with the privileges and immunities enjoyed by diplomatic officers and international organizations in Hong Kong consequential upon the change of Hong Kong's status as a territory under the British Administration to that of a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. He added that the Legal Service Division was studying the Administration's reply to its queries and a further report would be issued.
13. The Chairman suggested that a decision on the Bill be deferred pending the Legal Service Division's further report. Members agreed.
(ii) Labour Tribunal (Amendment) Bill 1999
(LC Paper No. LS 145/98-99)
14. The Legal Adviser said that the Bill sought to improve the operation of the Labour Tribunal and did not appear to involve any major policy issue. He added that the legal and drafting aspects of the Bill were in order.
15. Mr Andrew CHENG said that he had received several complaints about companies employing solicitors as directors so that they could appear on the companies' behalf in proceedings of the Tribunal, which was very unfair to the employees concerned. He was of the view that the question of whether the presiding officer of the Labour Tribunal should be given discretion to allow legal representation for both sides in complex cases should be considered. He suggested that a Bills Committee should be formed to study the Bill. Mr Albert HO expressed support for Mr CHENG's suggestion.
16. Miss Margaret NG said that the main purpose of the Bill was to remove the limitation on the jurisdiction of the Labour Tribunal to include claims where their causes of action arose more than 12 months before the claims were filed. This was a straightforward and non-controversial proposal which aimed to improve the operation of the Labour Tribunal. She further said that the question of allowing legal representation in cases falling within the jurisdiction of the Labour Tribunal was a matter of major principle and should be discussed by the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services and not a Bills Committee.
17. Messrs LEE Cheuk-yan, LEE Kai-ming, CHAN Wing-chan and James TIEN shared Miss Margaret NG's view and said that there was no need to form a Bills Committee.
18. Mr CHENG said that he had no strong views on the formation of a Bills Committee and suggested that the question of legal representation in complex cases be examined by the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services. Miss NG undertook to raise the matter with the Panel.
(iii) Small Claims Tribunal (Amendment) Bill 1999
(LC Paper No. LS 146/98-99)
19. The Legal Adviser explained that some of the main proposals set out in the Bill were similar to those proposed in the Labour Tribunal (Amendment) Bill 1999. He added that the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services was consulted on the proposed increase in the financial jurisdiction limit of the Small Claims Tribunal from $15,000 to $50,000.
20. Miss Margaret NG said that more cases would be transferred from the District Court to the Small Claims Tribunal as a result of the proposed financial jurisdiction limit increase. She added that the Administration was considering to amend the financial jurisdiction limit of the District Court to a level exceeding $120,000. Should this proposal be implemented, it would further increase the workload of the Small Claims Tribunal. She was of the view that the Administration should be asked to explain whether the Small Claims Tribunal would have sufficient resources to cope with the increased workload and to indicate when the proposal would be implemented if the Bill was passed by the Council.
21. The Legal Adviser said that according to paragraph 8 of the Legislative Council Brief on the Bill, additional resources required to handle the increased workload would be absorbed from within the global allocation of the Judiciary Administrator.
22. Miss NG further said that cases appearing before the Small Claims Tribunal were invariably adjourned at their first hearings, resulting in claimants having to wait a long period of time before their cases were determined. The increase in workload arising from the proposed increase in its fiscal jurisdiction limit would prolong the waiting period. She considered that the Administration should also be asked to explain how it would address this problem.
23. Miss NG suggested that the Administration should be asked to brief the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services on the Bill and the issues she raised earlier at its next meeting on 18 May 1999. Members expressed support for Miss NG's suggestion. Miss NG said that non-Panel members would be invited to attend the meeting.
24. The Chairman suggested that a decision on the Bill be deferred pending discussion on the Bill by the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services. Members agreed.
(iv) Hong Kong War Memorial Pensions (Amendment) Bill 1999
(LC Paper No. LS 155/98-99)
25. The Legal Adviser said that the Bill sought to amend the Hong Kong War Memorial Pensions Ordinance to expand the range of eligible beneficiaries who might be entitled to a pension under the Ordinance. He added that the Legal Service Division was seeking clarification from the Administration on certain drafting points and a further report would be issued.
26. The Chairman suggested and members agreed that a decision on the Bill be deferred pending the Legal Service Division's further report.
(v) Protection of Wages on Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 1999
(LC Paper No. LS 153/98-99)
27. The Legal Adviser said that the Bill aimed to improve an ex-gratia payment to employees who were owed severance payments by their insolvent employers. The Bill also proposed to provide a transitional provision to allow an oral undertaking made before the commencement of the Bill after its enactment to be validated if the employer confirmed it to the employee in writing within two months of the commencement. The Legal Adviser added that members might wish to form a Bills Committee to examine the policy aspect as well as the technical details of the proposal set out in the Bill.
28. Messrs LEE Cheuk-yan and LEE Kai-ming said that when the Panel on Manpower was briefed on the Bill, members had fully deliberated the issue regarding the giving of a written undertaking to pay severance payment. As Panel members could not come to a consensus among themselves and with the Administration, they doubted whether further deliberation by a Bills Committee could resolve the issue.
29. Miss Margaret NG said apart from the policy aspect, the technical details of the Bill should be examined to ensure that its drafting aspects were in order.
30. Mr Andrew CHENG suggested a Bills Committee be formed to study the Bill. The following members agreed to join : Mr James TIEN Pei-chun, Mr LEE Cheuk-yan, Mr LEE Kai-ming, Mr CHAN Wing-chan, Miss CHAN Yuen-han and Mr Andrew CHENG Kar-foo.
(vi) Revenue Bill 1999
31. The Chairman said that it was agreed at the last meeting that should a Bills Committee be formed on the Bill, the subcommittee to study the Public Revenue Protection (Revenue) Order 1999 should become the Bills Committee to study both the Order and the Revenue Bill 1999. Members endorsed the formation of a Bills Committee on the Bill. Members further agreed that the Bills Committee should be activated immediately and ahead of other Bills Committees on the waiting list in view of the urgency to complete the scrutiny of the Order within the scrutiny period. The Chairman said that the Secretariat would issue a circular immediately after the meeting to invite Members to join the Bills Committee.
32. The Chairman said that there would be a total of 16 Bills Committees in action, which exceeded the maximum number of 15 Bills Committees in action. He stressed that this was an exceptional arrangement and that it would be for the House Committee to decide whether other Bills should be given similar treatment.
(vii) Organized and Serious Crimes (Amendment) Bill 1999
(LC Paper No. LS 150/98-99)
33. The Legal Adviser introduced the paper and briefly explained the major proposals in the Bill which aimed to detect and suppress money laundering. The Legal Service Division was still studying the Administration's reply to its queries about the duty of a remittance agent or money changer to keep records of transactions and the power of authorized officers to enter premises and inspect records. He recommended that a Bills Committee be formed to study these issues and other proposals in the Bill in detail.
34. Mr Albert HO suggested that a Bills Committee be formed to study the Bill. Members agreed. The following members agreed to join : Mr Albert HO Chun-yan, Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Mr James TO Kun-sun and Mr Gary CHENG Kai-nam (as advised by Mr Jasper TSANG Yok-shing).
(b) Legal Service Division's report on subsidiary legislation tabled in Council on 21 April 1999 (gazetted on 16 April 1999)
(LC Paper No. LS 158/98-99)
35. The Legal Adviser briefly explained the Evidence (Amendment) Ordinance 1999 (2 of 1999) (Commencement) Notice 1999 gazetted on 16 April 1999.
36. Members raised no queries on the Commencement Notice.
IV. Further reports by the Legal Service Division on outstanding bills
(a) Adaptation of Laws (No. 17) Bill 1998
(LC Paper No. LS 159/98-99)
37. The Legal Adviser said that in the light of the Administration's clarification on the term "Crown Agent" and the Committee Stage amendments to be moved by the Administration to adapt the reference to certain terms in the Bill in line with the decision of the Bills Committees on the Adaptation of Laws Bill 1998 and Adaptation of Laws (No. 2) Bill 1998, the Legal Service Division was of the view that the legal and drafting aspects of the Bill were in order.
38. Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill could be resumed.
(b) Adaptation of Laws (No. 6) Bill 1999
(LC Paper No. LS 160/98-99)
39. The Legal Adviser said the query raised by the Legal Service Division was similar to that raised in the Adaptation of Laws (No.17) Bill 1998. The other amendments proposed in the No. 6 Bill 1999 were technical in nature and no outstanding general adaptation principles were involved. He added that the legal and drafting aspects of the Bill were in order.
40. Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill could be resumed.
V. Further business for the Council meeting on 28 April 1999
(LC Paper No. CB(3) 1526/98-99)
41. Members noted the new oral question to be asked by Mr David CHU Yu-lin.
(b) Bills - First and Second Readings
Provision of Municipal Services (Reorganization) Bill
42. Members noted that the above Bill would be introduced into the Council on 28 April 1999 and considered by the House Committee on 30 April 1999.
(c) Bills - resumption of debate on Second Reading, Committee Stage and Third Reading
Adaptation of Laws Bill 1998
43. Members agreed at the last meeting that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed.
VI. Business for the Council meeting on 5 May 1999
(LC Paper No. CB(3) 1527/98-99)
44. Members noted that 20 questions (six oral and 14 written) had been tentatively scheduled.
45. Mr LEE Wing-tat informed members that he had submitted a new question on "Immigration Department's refusal to grant entry visas" to replace his original question on "Chief Executive's Beijing trip".
(b) Bills - First and Second Readings
(i) Adaptation of Laws (No. 11) Bill 1999
(ii) Trade Marks Bill
46. Members noted that the above two Bills would be introduced into the Council on 5 May 1999 and considered by the House Committee on 7 May 1999.
(c) Government motions
47. No notice had been received.
(d) Members' motions
(i) Motion on "Consultancy Report on Health Care Financing"
48. Members noted the wording of the above motion to be moved by Dr LEONG Che-hung.(ii) Motion on "Reforming the Securities and Futures markets"
49. Members noted the wording of the above motion to be moved by Mr Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen.
50. The Chairman reminded members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments (if any) to the motions was 27 April 1999. The speaking time limits stipulated in rule 17(c) of the House Rules would apply.
VII. Advance information on business for the Council meeting on 12 May 1999
(a) Motion on "Problem of youngster gangs"
51. Members noted that Mr HO Sai-chu had been allocated a debate slot.
(b) Motion on "Installation of safety screens on station platforms"
52. Members noted that Mr LAU Kong-wah had been allocated a debate slot.
53. The Chairman said that the deadline for giving notice of the motions was 26 April 1999.VIII. Nomination of Member to Court of the University of Hong Kong
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 1747/98-99)
54. Referring to the paper, the Chairman invited members to nominate one Member to serve on the Court of the University of Hong Kong (University Court) to fill the vacancy arising from the expiry of the term of office of Mr James TO on 29 April 1999.
55. Mr LEE Wing-tat nominated Mr James TO. Mr SIN Chung-kai seconded the nomination. Mr James TO accepted the nomination. As no other nomination was received, Mr James TO was elected to serve on the University Court.
56. Miss Emily LAU informed members that the Panel on Education would discuss the supervision of the administration of University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded tertiary education institutions including staff recruitment and administration of employment contracts at its meeting on 17 May 1999. She requested that Members who were elected to serve on the University Court and the Council of the Chinese University of Hong Kong should attend the meeting for discussion of this item. Miss LAU further said that the House Committee should discuss how Members who had been elected to serve on these two bodies should report their work periodically and asked that a paper be prepared. The Chairman suggested that the paper should also cover other advisory bodies concerned. Members expressed support.
57. Miss Margaret NG enquired about the areas of concern of the Panel on Education on the supervision of the administration of UGC-funded tertiary institutions.
58. Miss LAU said that the issue was raised by herself and Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong. Their concern was mainly on how the governing bodies of the respective education institutions supervised the operation of the institutions, including the new procedures introduced by the institutions for staff recruitment and administration of employment contracts. She added that she was particularly concerned about whether the mechanism adopted by the institutions for not renewing contract with their staff was fair and transparent. Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong said that there was also a need to monitor how the donations made to the institutions were spent.
59. Mr Ronald ARCULLI suggested that the Secretariat should provide background information on the governing bodies of the tertiary education institutions for Members' information. Miss Emily LAU concurred with Mr ARCULLI.
60. Mr SIN Chung-kai enquired why LegCo Members were only invited to serve on the Court of the University of Hong Kong and the Council of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and not on the governing bodies of other universities. The Chairman said that he would seek clarification from the Administration.
(i) Position report on Bills Committees/subcommittees
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 1753/98-99)
61. The Chairman said that there were are 16 Bills Committees and four subcommittees in action. Three Bills Committees were put on the waiting list, including the Bills Committees formed to study the Shipping and Port Control (Amendment) Bill 1999, Protection of Wages on Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 1999 and Organized and Serious Crimes (Amendment) Bill 1999.
(ii) Report of the Subcommittee on Securities (Dealers, Investment Advisers, Partnerships and Representatives) (Amendment) Rules 1999
(A note was tabled at the meeting)
62. Referring members to the note which he tabled at the meeting, Mr SIN Chung-kai, Chairman of the subcommittee, said that the subcommittee had recommended that the Amendment Rules be supported.
X. Any other business
Report on legal procedures in respect of the determination of maximum fares for licensed ferry services by Transport Panel
(LC Paper No. CB(1) 1152/98-99)
63. Mrs Miriam LAU, Chairman of the Panel on Transport, highlighted the main deliberations of the Panel as detailed in the paper. She said that the Panel had concentrated its study on three areas, viz., definition of "subsidiary legislation"; references to "notice in the Gazette" in current legislation; and possible courses of action on instruments not being tabled as subsidiary legislation.
64. Mrs LAU said that the Panel had considered the legal opinions of both the Administration and the Legal Adviser on whether notices made under section 33(1) of the Ferry Services Ordinance (Cap. 104) were subsidiary legislation. The Panel could not reach a consensus view with the Administration because the Legal Adviser and the government lawyers had given different legal opinions. Some Panel members were of the view that a court ruling in this respect would be the last resort.
65. Mrs LAU added that the Panel had completed an initial examination of the case for the Legislative Council to seek judicial review, and had taken note of the channels available and the difficulties involved. While the Legal Adviser had not ruled out the possibility of the legislature taking such a course of action, he had pointed out that the subject matter hinged on a number of fundamental issues including both technical and constitutional ones, and would not be confined simply to whether a particular provision was subsidiary legislation. These considerations would require further deliberation by the Council.
66. Regarding the possible courses of action that the Council could take on instruments not having been tabled as subsidiary legislation, Mrs LAU said that the Legal Adviser was of the view that in case of disputes over the interpretation of legislation, as opposed to the original legislative intent, which might lead to one's beneficial interest being affected, the matter would be for adjudication by the court. As the Administration should be accountable to the Council and implement laws passed by the Council, the Legal Adviser had advised that members could demand the Administration to provide detailed justifications to account for its acts and to amend the fare adjustment mechanism where necessary through the established mechanism.
67. Mrs LAU further said that the Panel had noted that there were many provisions in current legislation which contained reference to "by notice in the Gazette". The Administration had advised that "a notice in the Gazette" which was subsidiary legislation in one situation might not be subsidiary legislation in another context. It all depended on whether such notice had "legislative effect". Notwithstanding the Administration's explanation, the Panel considered that for the avoidance of doubt, there was a need for a clear distinction to be made in relevant legislation between instruments of legislative character and those of an administrative character.
68. Mrs LAU concluded her report by drawing members' attention to the Panel's decision on a motion moved by Mr LAU Chin-shek at a meeting of the Panel urging the Administration to follow the procedure of subsidiary legislation and table all future notices on the determination and adjustment of fares of licensed ferry services for the scrutiny of the Council in the form of subsidiary legislation. She said that the majority of Panel members did not support the motion because they considered that the current licensing system for ferry operation had served the market well for a long time. They considered it more appropriate for the Commissioner for Transport to approve fare revisions from licensed ferry operators.
69. The Chairman said that a more important issue arising from the Panel's deliberations was how the legislature could scrutinize instruments which were published in the form of general notices in the Gazette, instead of as subsidiary legislation which would be subject to the negative vetting procedure by the Council.
70. The Legal Adviser added that it was not unusual that he and the Administration had different views on whether notices made under section 33(1) of Cap. 104 had "legislative effect", since "legislative effect" was not defined in the laws of Hong Kong nor was there any local case law on its meaning.
71. Miss Margaret NG asked whether the Panel would consider pursuing the matter further, such as obtaining an outside legal opinion on whether notices made under section 33(1) of Cap. 104 were subsidiary legislation.
72. Mrs LAU said that the Panel had already taken a decision on Mr LAU's motion and would not pursue the matter further.
73. Mr LEE Cheuk-yan said that it would affect the public interest if the Council was deprived of its power to monitor ferry fares. He asked what further action could be taken regarding the notices made under section 33(1) of Cap. 104 which were not subject to scrutiny by the Council.
74. Mr LEE Wing-tat said that according to the Legal Adviser's opinion set out in the paper, the Council could file a case in the Court for judicial review. He was of the view that the House Committee should consider how the matter could be pursued further in view of the difference in legal opinion between the Legal Adviser and the Administration.
75. Mr Andrew WONG suggested that the Panel on Constitutional Affairs should follow up since the matter concerned the relationship between the executive and the legislature, which was a constitutional issue. Mr CHAN Kam-lam expressed support for Mr WONG's suggestion.
76. Mr Albert HO was of the view that a subcommittee should be formed to continue to pursue the matter. The subcommittee should also consider further the case for a judicial review and the need to seek legal advice from an outside lawyer. Mr LEE Cheuk-yan concurred with Mr HO. He added that the subcommittee should make a recommendation to the House Committee on whether to seek a judicial review of the matter.
77. The Legal Adviser said that the Panel's report also raised the broader issue of whether the present mechanism of the Legislative Council exercising supervisory control over the making of subsidiary legislation by those conferred with delegated authority to make subsidiary legislation needed to be reviewed and improved.
78. Dr YEUNG Sum expressed concern about the Council being deprived of its power to scrutinize notices having legislative effect which were not published as subsidiary legislation. He considered that it would be more appropriate to form a subcommittee to study the issues involved.
79. Both the Chairman and Mr Andrew WONG expressed concern that the subcommittee of such terms of reference would largely be repeating the Transport Panel's earlier work on the matter.
80. Miss Margaret NG said that the Panel on Constitutional Affairs should follow up the matter if the issues to be addressed were of a constitutional nature. However, a subcommittee should be formed if the subject matter to be examined was related to the question of whether the Council would seek a judicial review of the validity of the notices made by the Commissioner for Transport under section 33(1) of Cap. 104.
81. Mr Andrew WONG and Miss Emily LAU suggested that a decision on the proposal of a subcommittee be deferred to the next meeting. Miss LAU further said that it would facilitate discussion if a short and concise paper be prepared by the Secretariat. Members agreed.
82. The meeting ended at 5:24 pm.
Legislative Council Secretariat
28 April 1999