Legislative Council

LC Paper No. LS 216/98-99

Paper for the House Committee Meeting
of the Legislative Council
on 2 July 1999

Legal Service Division Report on
Adaptation of Laws (No. 17) Bill 1999

Object(s) of the Bill

To adapt certain Ordinances and their subsidiary legislation to bring them into conformity with the Basic Law and with the status of Hong Kong as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.

LegCo Brief Reference

2. HWCR/12/4/3221/91 issued by the Health and Welfare Bureau in June 1999.

Date of First Reading

3. 30 June 1999.


4. A list of the Ordinances affected by the proposed amendments in the Bill and a summary of the amendments are at Annex A and B respectively. Members may note that the Ordinances set out at Annex A relate mainly to the registration of certain professions. The proposed amendments are essentially technical changes to individual Ordinances.

5. If enacted, the Bill will take retrospective effect from 1 July 1997 to ensure that there is consistency in the interpretation of all laws on and after 1 July 1997. The retrospective effect will not apply to provisions involving criminal offences or penalties.

6. Most of the proposed amendments in this Bill are along the same lines as some of the amendments proposed in other Adaptation of Laws Bills which have been passed by the Legislative Council. The Bill also proposes to adapt the Hong Kong Red Cross Ordinance (Cap. 1129) to reflect the change of affiliation of the Hong Kong Red Cross ("HKRC") from the British Red Cross Society to the Red Cross Society of China ("RCSC"), which took effect on 1 July 1997. Such change of affiliation and the relationship between the HKRC and the RCSC are set out in the Announcement of the RCSC on 15 April 1997. In respect of the proposed amendments relating to the HKRC's change of affiliation, we have written to the Administration asking for clarification on the following matters :

  1. whether the change of affiliation results in any change in the duties, powers, rights, obligations or liabilities of the HKRC under Cap. 1129 or other instruments such as the HKRC Consitution;

  2. whether the HKRC has been operating on the basis of the Announcement of the RCSC or Cap. 1129 since 1 July 1997 and the legal implications involved in respect of either basis; and

  3. the reason for not introducing amendments to Cap. 1129 earlier given that the change of affiliation was announced in April 1997.

Public Consultation

7. There has not been any public consultation on the Bill.

Consultation with the LegCo Panel

8. No consultation with any LegCo Panel on the details of the Bill has been carried out.


9. Apart from the issues set out in paragraph 6 above, we are also seeking clarification from the Administration on other matters, including whether the Administration has consulted the bodies and organizations concerned on the proposed amendments. A further report will be issued in due course.


Prepared by

FUNG Sau-kuen, Connie
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
28 June 1999

Annex A

List of Ordinances affected by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 17) Bill 1999

Item No.Ordinances and subsidiary legislation
1.Dentists Registration Ordinance (Cap. 156) Dentists (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) Regulations (Cap. 156 sub. leg.)

2.Medical Registration Ordinance (Cap. 161) Medical Practitioners (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) Regulation (Cap. 161 sub. leg.)

3.Midwives Registration Ordinance (Cap. 162) and Midwives Registration (Amendment) Ordinance 1997 (61 of 1997)

4.Nurses Registration Ordinance (Cap. 164) and Nurses Registration (Amendment) Ordinance (82 of 1997)

5.Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Maternity Homes Registration Ordinance (Cap. 165)

6.Child Care Services Ordinance (Cap. 243)

7.Supplementary Medical Professions Ordinance (Cap. 359)

8.Chiropractors Registration Ordinance (Cap. 428)

9.Social Workers Registration Ordinance (Cap. 505)

10.Hong Kong Red Cross Ordinance (Cap. 1129)

Annex B

Adaptation of Laws (No. 17) Bill 1999
Summary of the proposed amendments

A. Amendments

B. Deletions

Definition of "Charter" in the Hong Kong Red Cross Ordinance (Cap. 1129).7

Notes: 1

This reference which appears in the Dentists Registration Ordinance (Cap. 156) supplementary Medical Professions Ordinance (Cap. 359), relates to forfeiture to the Crown of dental materials and equipment in the possession of a person who has been convicted of practising a profession to which the two Ordinances apply without being registered.


This reference relates to members of the Social Workers Registration Board holding office at the Governor's pleasure.


Section 19A(6)(a) of the Medical Registration Ordinance (Cap. 161). This reference relates to the application by a registered medical practitioner who has been practising overseas and returns to Hong Kong to resume practice for the transfer of his name from the non-resident list to the resident list.


This reference relates to applications for registration under the Medical Practitioners Ordinance (Cap. 161) where the applicant has been registered, or practising as a medical practitioner in a state or territory outside Hong Kong.

5 & 6

These references are adapted to reflect the change of affiliation of the Hong Kong Red Cross from the British Red Cross Society to the Red Cross Society of China with effect from 1 July 1997.


The definition of "Charter" relates to the Royal Charter dated the 3rd September 1908 by which the British Red Cross Society was incorporated. The deletion is consequential upon the change of affiliation of the Hong Kong Red Cross with effect from 1 July 1997.