Legislative Council

LC Paper No. LS 159/98-99

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

Legal Service Division Further Report on
Adaptation of Laws (No. 17) Bill 1998

At the House Committee meeting held on 8 January 1999, members agreed to defer decision on the Bill pending our enquiry with the Administration about the meaning of the term "Crown Agents" and the practical effects of its repeal.

"Crown Agents" (section 7 of Schedule 6 to the Bill)

2. The gist of the Administration's reply is that the "Crown Agents" is an independent, non-profit making organisation incorporated by the UK Parliament. It acts as the financial, professional and commercial agents for almost 100 Governments and over 300 public authorities and international organisations. In March 1997, the "Crown Agents" was given a clear and independent legal identity when it became a company incorporated under the UK Companies Act. The Administration confirms that the "Crown Agents" has never performed any services on behalf of the trustee of the Social Work Training Fund. The Administration is also of the opinion that the repeal of "Crown Agents" would not limit the trustee's choice of investment in view of the wide range of investment facilities currently available. Members may refer to the Administration reply at Annex I for detailed information.

3. In consequence of the decision of the Bills Committees on the Adaptation of Law Bill 1998 and Adaptation of Law (No. 2) Bill 1998 (enacted as Adaptation of Laws (No. 3) Ordinance (13 of 1999)), the Administration has agreed to move CSAs in relation to :

  1. "Governor" - "Chief Executive in Council" (section 8 of Schedule 1 to the Bill)

    The Administration will adapt "Governor" to read "Chief Executive" instead of "Chief Executive in Council".

  2. Saving the rights of the Queen, etc (section 4 of Schedule 4 and section 8 of Schedule 6 to the Bill)

    The Administration has agreed to adopt the following English and Chinese versions :

      " the Central Authorities or the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region under the Basic Law and other laws ...".

4. Members may refer to the draft CSAs at Annex II for information.

5. With the proposed CSAs, we are satisfied that the legal and drafting aspects of the Bill are in order. Members are recommended to support the resumption of Second Reading debate of the Bill.


Prepared by

Lam Ping-man, Stephen
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
21 April 1999