Legislative Council

LC Paper No. LS200/98-99

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

Legal Service Division Report on
Adaptation of Laws (No. 16) 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. HW/CR 4/3321/91 issued by the Health and Welfare Bureau in June 1999.

Date of First Reading

3. 16 June 1999.


4. A list of the Ordinances affected by the Bill is at Annex C. The Ordinances relate to mainly medical, medicinal and pharmaceutical topics. A summary of the technical amendments and repeals is set out in Annex A.

5. Apart from the provisions mentioned in Annex B, the Bill does not seek to introduce any change in policy and only effects essentially technical drafting changes to individual Ordinances.

6. If enacted, the Bill will take retrospective effect form 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 LegCo Panel

8. No consultation with any LegCo Panel on the details of the Bill has been carried out.


9. The Legal Service Division is seeking clarifications from the Administration on certain drafting points. One of the points is the adaptation of the word "Crown" to "State" in the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health Ordinance (Cap. 389) and The Prince Philip Dental Hospital Ordinance (Cap. 1081). This particular issue has been raised in respect of previous adaptation bills. The House Committee has instructed that it is to be resolved between the Legal Service Division and the Administration. Members may wish to wait for the resolution of the issue before deciding whether a Bills Committee should be set up. A further report will be issued in due course.

Prepared by

KAU Kin-wah
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
21 June 1999

Annex A

Adaptation of Laws (No. 16) Bill 1999

Summary of the Proposed Technical Changes and Repeal

A. Proposed technical changes

B. Proposed repeal

The reference to "by the Governor in Council" in section 74(4) of the Mental Health Ordinance (Cap. 136) is repealed.

Annex B

Adaptation of Laws (No. 16) Bill 1999

Provisions amended which may not be merely technical in nature

OrdinanceSectionOriginal ProvisionAmended Provision
Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health Ordinance (Cap. 389) 18 Crown2State
The Prince of Philip Dental Hospital Ordinance(Cap. 1081) 19 Crown2State
Mental Health Ordinance (Cap. 136) 59B(1) until Her Majesty's pleasure is known at the discretion of the Chief Executive

Annex C

List of Ordinances affected by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 16) Bill 1999

Item No.Ordinance
1.Hospital Authority Ordinance (Cap. 113)
2.Pesticides Ordinance (Cap. 133)
3.Mental Health Ordinance (Cap. 136)
4.Antibiotics Ordinance (Cap. 137)
5.Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap. 138)
6.Quarantine and Prevention of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 141)
7.Radiation Ordinance (Cap. 303)
8.Pharmacopoeia Ordinance (Cap. 308)
9.Medical Clinics Ordinance (Cap. 343)
10.Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap. 371)
11.Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health Ordinance (Cap. 389)
12.Hong Kong Academy of Medicine Ordinance (Cap. 419)
13.The Prince Philip Dental Hospital Ordinance (Cap. 1081)

1.References to "Crown" in section 18(1) of the Pesticides Ordinance (Cap. 133), section 36(1) of the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap. 138), and section 21(1) of the Radiation Ordinance (Cap. 303) relate to forfeiture to the Crown whilst Regulation 21 of the Prevention of the Spread of Infections Diseases Regulations (Cap. 141 sub. leg.) relates to a debt due to the Crown. The reference to "Crown" in section 32(e)(ii) of the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap. 138) is in context of an exemption granted to suppliers of a Government department or an officer of the Crown for the purpose of the public service. The adaptation of "Crown" to "Government" in similar contexts has been accepted by previous Bills Committees on the adaptation bills.

2.The provision states that the relevant statutory body is not a servant or agent of the Crown and does not enjoy any status, immunity or privilege of the Crown.