LC Paper No. LS 281/98-99
Paper for the House Committee Meeting
of the Legislative Council
on 24 September 1999
Legal Service Division Report on Subsidiary Legislation
gazetted between 9 July 1999 and 17 September 1999
At the beginning of every session after the summer recess Members have to consider subsidiary legislation which was made and gazetted towards the end of the previous session and during the summer recess. Separate reports by the Legal Service Division on items of subsidiary legislation gazetted weekly during the material period have already been issued to Members vide LC Paper Nos. LS243, LS249, LS257, LS258, LS263, LS264, LS266, LS270 and LS279.
Purpose of the Paper
2. This paper aims to highlight to Members the respective dates of amendment by LegCo to those items of subsidiary legislation and certain items which may be of interest.
Amendment of subsidiary legislation by LegCo resolution
3. All the items of subsidiary legislation currently submitted to Members are subject to negative vetting procedure under section 34 of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1).
4. Items of subsidiary legislation listed in LC Paper No. LS243/98-99 were made and gazetted shortly before the last meeting of the Legislative Council held on 14 July 1999. Under section 34(2) and (3) of Cap. 1, the scrutiny period of these items of subsidiary legislation by the Council is deemed to extend to and expire on the day after the second meeting (i.e. 13 October 1999) of this Council. The deadline for giving notice of amendment is by 6 October 1999. The scrutiny period could be further extended under the Ordinance by resolution of this Council to the next meeting (i.e. 20 October 1999).
5. The remaining items of subsidiary legislation were made and gazetted after the last meeting of the Legislative Council. These items of subsidiary legislation will be tabled at the meeting of this Council on 6 October 1999 and this Council may by resolution amend these items at or before the meeting of this Council to be held on 3 November 1999. This Council may be resolution extend the period of scrutiny to the date of next meeting (i.e. 10 November 1999).
Items of subsidiary legislation which may be of interest to Members from a policy point of view
6. From the legal point of view, the Legal Service Division is satisfied that the items of subsidiary legislation are in order. However, Members may find the following items of subsidiary legislation of interest for other reasons-
- The Post Office (Amendment) Regulation 1999 (L.N. 178) in LC Paper No. LS243/98-99. This Regulation revises the existing fee levels for certain non-local money order services. This Regulation will come into operation on a day to be appointed by the Secretary for Economic Services by notice in the Gazette. The Administration plans to bring it into operation in November 1999.
- The Telecommunication (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulation 1999 (L.N. 180) in LC Paper No. LS243/98-99. This Regulation expands the scope of services permitted to be received and distributed by the Satellite Master Antenna Television systems. This Regulation will come into operation on a day to be appointed by the Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting by notice in the Gazette. At the meeting of the LegCo Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting on 12 July 1999 when the Panel was briefed on the Regulation, the Administration indicated that it intended to bring it into operation on 1 September 1999. But hitherto the commencement notice relating to the Regulation has not been published in the Gazette.
- The Solicitors (Professional Indemnity) (Amendment) Rules 1999 (L.N. 218) in LC Paper No. LS266/98-99. These Rules exempt the Hong Kong Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited ("the Company") from providing indemnity in respect of losses arising out of claims arising from or are connected with the fact that any computer equipment is not Year 2000 compliant. Upon the request of a Member, the Legal Service Division has written to the Law Society of Hong Kong for clarification on the extent of coverage of the original insurance policy and the reason for excluding the Company's liability for claims arising from Year 2000 problem by means of legislation. We have received a reply from the Law Society of Hong Kong and issued a further report on this issue vide LC Paper No. LS282/98-99. These Rules have already come into operation on the date when the Rules were published in the Gazette.
7. Members may wish to consider forming a subcommittee to study those items of subsidiary legislation listed under paragraph 6. Members are also welcome to contact the Legal Service Division should they need assistance in any items of subsidiary legislation.
8. In relation to items of subsidiary legislation listed in LC Paper No. LS243/98-99, Members may consider extending the scrutiny period from 13 October to 20 October 1999 in order to allow Members time to consider them.
Lam Ping-man, Stephen
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
22 September 1999