Legislative Council

LC Paper No. LS 120/98-99

Paper for the House Committee Meeting
of the Legislative Council
on 12 March 1999

Legal Service Division Report on
Adaptation of Laws (No. 6) 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. LDT 6035/52/56C 'A' & 'B' issued in February 1999 by the Health and Welfare Bureau.

Date of First Reading

3. 10 March 1999.


4. A list of the Ordinances and subsidiary legislation affected by the Bill and a summary of the proposed amendments in the Bill are at Annexes A and B respectively. Members may note that all of the Ordinances and subsidiary legislation set out at Annex A deal with Health and Welfare matters.

5. Section 9 of the Emergency Relief Fund Ordinance (Cap. 1103) empowers the trustee of the Emergency Relief Fund to invest, and remit moneys of the fund through the Director of Accounting Services to the Crown Agents for investment in the name of the trustee. The Bill proposes to delete the part relating to remittance to the Crown Agents. We are seeking clarification from the Administration on the meaning of the term "Crown Agents" in practice and the legal implications of deleting the same. The Administration has not yet replied. Members may recall that similar proposal is made in the Adaptation of Laws (No. 17) Bill 1998 to amend section 11 of the Social Work Training Fund Ordinance (Cap. 1100). We have also raised query with the Administration which is still in the course of preparing a reply.

6. 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.

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 query about the deletion of the reference to "Crown Agents", we are satisfied that the other proposed amendments are technical in nature and no outstanding points of general principle of the Adaptation of Law Exercise are involved. Members are recommended to defer decision on the Bill pending the Administration's reply on the term "Crown Agents".


Prepared by

Lam Ping-man, Stephen
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
9 March 1999


Annex A

List of Ordinances and subsidiary legislation
affected by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 6) Bill 1999

Item No.Ordinances and subsidiary legislation
1.Volunteer and Naval Volunteer Pensions Ordinance (Cap. 202)
2.Reformatory Schools Ordinance (Cap. 225) andReformatory Schools Ordinance (Cap. 225 sub. leg)
3.Traffic Accident Victims (Assistance Fund) Ordinance (Cap. 229)
4.Probation of Offenders Ordinance (Cap. 298) and Probation of Offenders Ordinance (Cap. 298 sub. leg.)
5.Animals (Control of Experiments) Ordinance (Cap. 340)
6.Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance (Cap. 459)
7.Emergency Relief Fund Ordinance (Cap. 1103)

Annex B

Adaptation of Laws (No. 6) Bill 1999

Summary of the proposed amendments