Legislative Council

LC Paper No. LS145/98-99

Paper for the House Committee meeting
of the Legislative Council
on 23 April 1999

Legal Service Division Report on
Labour Tribunal (Amendment) Bill 1999

Object of the Bill

To make improvements to the scope and operation of the Labour Tribunal.

LegCo Brief Reference

2. CSO/ADM CR 10/3221/92(99) issued by the Administration Wing, Chief Secretary for Administration's Office in April 1999.

Date of First Reading

3. 21 April 1999.


4. The Bill results from a review conducted by the Judiciary in February 1995 on the operation of the Labour Tribunal. Principal proposals for bringing about improvements to the scope and operation of the Tribunal are :

  1. removal of the limitation on the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to include claims where their causes of action arise more than 12 months before the claims are filed;

  2. provision to allow transfer of cases from the Tribunal to the Small Claims Tribunal;

  3. provision for service of claim, notice of hearing and decision by post;

  4. allowing a barrister or solicitor to have right of audience in proceedings in which a person is dealt with by the Tribunal for insulting behaviour at its hearing;

  5. increasing the penalty for offences relating to insulting behaviour, non-attendance of witness, non-production of documents and obstruction of a tribunal officer to make their deterrent effect more effective; and

  6. immunity to the presiding officer and witnesses.

Public Consultation

5. According to the LegCo Brief (paragraph 9), the Law Society of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Bar Association have been consulted and most of the comments made by the latter have been adopted.

Consultation with LegCo Panel

6. The previous LegCo Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services have been briefed on the findings and recommendations of the 1995 review.


7. The proposed amendments relate to the operational aspects of the Tribunal and do not appear to involve any matter of major principle or policy. Unless Members have other views, resumption of Second Reading debate on the Bill may resume.

8. The drafting of the Bill is in order.

Prepared by

CHEUNG Ping-Kam, Arthur
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
21 April 1999