LC Paper No. LS 208/98-99
Paper for the House Committee MeetingObject(s) of the Bill
of the Legislative Council
on 25 June 1999
Legal Service Division Report on
Adaptation of Laws (No. 18) Bill 1999
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. ITBB CR 7/5/10 (99) IV dated 16 June 1999 issued by the Information, Technology and Broadcasting Bureau.
Date of First Reading
3. 23 June 1999.
4. A list of the Ordinances affected by the proposed amendments in the Bill and a summary of the amendments are at Annex A
respectively. Members may note that the Ordinances at Annex A relate to various matters including the licensing of companies to broadcast commercial television and subscription television, control and regulation of obscene and indecent articles, and licensing of activities in outer space, etc. The proposed amendments are essentially technical changes to individual Ordinances.
5. If enacted, the Bill will take retrospective effect from 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.
6. Most of the proposed amendments in this Bill are along the same lines as some of the amendments proposed in other Adaptation of Laws Bills which have been passed by the Legislative Council. Other proposed amendments relate to the substitution of "Secretary of State" by "Central People's Government" and "Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom" by "Central People's Government" in the Outer Space Ordinance (Cap. 523). In respect of these proposed amendments, we have written to the Administration asking for clarification on the following matters :
- The references to "Secretary of State" appear in section 8 of Cap. 523. The section provides that where the Governor intends to grant a licence or revoke a licence relating to the launching and operation of space objects and the carrying on of other activities in outer space, he shall give notice of such intention to the Secretary of State and comply with the Secretary of State's instructions in relation to such notice. Similar references appear in certain provisions of the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Ordinance (Cap. 513) which provide that the then Governor is required to give notice to the Secretary of State in relation to transfer of sentenced persons upon every request. The reference to "Secretary of State" in that Ordinance is proposed to be adapted to "Central People's Government" and the adaptation has been approved by the Legislative Council. In respect of the proposed adaptation in this Bill, we are asking the Administration to explain how section 8 of Cap. 523 operates after the reunification and which authority in the Central People's Government is responsible for matters described in section 8; and
- the reference to "Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom" in section 12 of Cap. 523 relates to the obligation of a person who carries on an activity under Cap. 523 to indemnify the Government and Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom against any claims brought against either government in respect of damage or loss arising out of such activity carried on by him. We are asking the Administration to clarify whether any such claim has been brought since 1 July 1997 and whether the proposed adaptation has retrospective effect on the claim.
7. There has not been any public consultation on the Bill.
Consultation with the LegCo Panel
8. No consultation with any LegCo Panel on the details of the Bill has been carried out.Conclusion
9. Apart from the queries raised in paragraph 6 above, we are also asking the Administration to clarify other technical points. A further report will be issued when we have received the Administration's reply.
FUNG Sau-kuen, Connie
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
21 June 1999
List of Ordinances affected by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 18) Bill 1999
|Item No.||Ordinances and subsidiary legislation
|1.||Television Ordinance (Cap. 52)Television (Advertising) Regulation (Cap. 52 sub. leg.)
|2.||Telephone Ordinance (Cap. 269)
|3.||Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance (Cap. 390)Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Rules (Cap. 390 sub. leg.)
|4.||Broadcasting Authority Ordinance (Cap. 391)
|5.||Film Censorship Ordinance (Cap. 392)
|6.||Outer Space Ordinance (Cap. 523)
Adaptation of Laws (No. 18) Bill 1999
Summary of the proposed amendments
1 & 2 These references appear in the Outer Space Ordinance (Cap. 523). The Ordinance confers licensing and other powers on the Governor (to be adapted to the Chief Executive) to secure compliance with the international obligations of the United Kingdom with respect to the launching and operation of space objects and the carrying on of other activities in outer space. The references to "United Kingdom" in Cap. 523 relate to securing compliance with the international obligations of the United Kingdom and preserving the national security of the United Kingdom.
3 This reference appears in section 8(1) and (2) of the Outer Space Ordinance (Cap. 523). The section provides for the requirement for the Governor to give to the Secretary of State notice of his intention to grant a licence or revoke a licence relating to the launching and operation of space objects, etc., and the requirement for the Governor to comply with an instruction issued by the Secretary of State on the ground that if the instruction were not complied with the national security or the international obligations of the United Kingdom would be significantly affected.
4 This reference relates to the obligation of a person who launches or operates a space object or carries on any activity in outer space to indemnify Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom against claims in respect of damage or loss arising out of such activity.