Legislative Council

LC Paper No. LS 128/98-99

Paper for the House Committee Meeting
of the Legislative Council
on 25 June 1999

Legal Service Division Further Report on
Adaptation of Laws (No. 4) Bill 1999

Members may recall that the Legal Service Division made a report to the House Committee on 26 February 1999 on the Bill (LegCo Paper No. LS 109/98-99). Annexes A and B of the report are attached for Members' ease of reference.

2. Item 8 of Schedule 1 of the Bill proposes to repeal two UK qualifications for application of plumber's licence under Regulation 33(1) of the Waterworks Regulations (Cap. 102 sub. leg.). It was decided at the meeting of the House Committee that a further report be made setting out the explanation of the Administration as to how the proposed adaptation serves to bring the Regulations 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.

3. The Administration believes that it would be appropriate to omit references to British qualifications now that Hong Kong is no longer a colony and qualification standards can be set by reference to a Hong Kong qualification. If the Bill is enacted, persons who may apply for plumbers' licences will be limited to holders of the Craft Certificate in Plumbing and Pipefitting issued by the Vocational Training Council after 1987 and those who, in the opinion of the Water Authority, hold equivalent qualifications.

4. It is the policy for the Water Authority to accept the repealed qualifications as equivalent qualifications. The Administration considers that there has been no change in policy and that it is not necessary to consult the trade. The departmental instruction in the Water Supplies Department laying down the approval criteria for the granting of a plumber's licence will be amended accordingly.

5. The amendment to the Regulation 33(1) of the Waterworks Regulations (Cap. 102 sub. leg.) shall come into operation at the beginning of the day on which the Bill is published as an Ordinance in the Gazette. The Administration has confirmed that the proposal is applicable only to new applicants for plumbers' licences and would not affect those who have already been granted with such a licence.

6. Other amendments proposed by this Bill are along the same lines as amendments proposed in the Adaptation of Laws Bill 1998. Members also agreed to defer consideration of this Bill until the Bills Committee of that Bill had completed work.

7. In April 1999, the Legislative Council has approved the Committee Stage amendments to the Adaptation of Laws Bill 1998 (enacted as the Adaptation of Laws (No. 5) Ordinance 1999 (15 of 1999)) to the effect:

  1. that the term "Governor" will be adapted to "Chief Executive" notwithstanding that the provision relates to the power to make subsidiary legislation;

  2. that the provision on saving the rights of "Her Majesty the Queen, Her Heirs or Successors" would be adapted to saving the rights of "the Central Authorities of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region under the Basic Law and other laws".

8. The Administration has now proposed to make similar amendments to this Bill. A copy of the draft Committee Stage amendments is at Annex C.

9. With the proposed Committee Stage amendments, we are satisfied that the legal and drafting aspects of the Bill are in order. Subject to Members' views, the Bill is ready for resumption of Second Reading debate.


Prepared by

Wong Sze-man, Bernice
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
14 June 1999


Annex A

List of Ordinances and subsidiary legislation
affected by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 4) Bill 1999

Item No.Ordinances and subsidiary legislation
1.Waterworks Ordinance (Cap. 102) andWaterworks Regulations (Cap. 102 sub. leg.)
2.Public Lighting Ordinance (Cap. 105)
3.Sand Ordinance (Cap. 147)
4.Mining Ordinance (Cap. 285) andMining (General) Regulations (Cap. 285 sub. leg.)
5.Architects Registration Ordinance (Cap. 408)
6.Engineers Registration Ordinance (Cap. 409)
7.Surveyors Registration Ordinance (Cap. 417)
8.Planners Registration Ordinance (Cap. 418)
9.Builders' Lifts and Tower Working Platforms (Safety) Ordinance (Cap. 470)
10.Landscape Architects Registration Ordinance (Cap. 516)
11.The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers Ordinance (Cap. 1105)
12.The Hong Kong Institute of Architects Incorporation Ordinance (Cap. 1147)
13.The Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors Ordinance (Cap. 1148)
14.The Hong Kong Institute of Planners Incorporation Ordinance (Cap. 1153)
15.The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects Incorporation Ordinance (Cap. 1162)

Annex B

Adaptation of Laws (No. 4) Bill 1999

Summary of the proposed amendments

A. Amendments