Legislative Council

LC Paper No. LS213/98-99

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

Legal Service Division Report on
Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1999

Object of the Bill

To make a miscellany of amendments to various ordinances and to clarify the status of subsidiary legislation not duly laid on the table of the Legislative Council.

LegCo Brief Reference

2. LP 3/00/7C VI issued by the Department of Justice in May 1999.

Date of First Reading

3. 23 June 1999.


4. As the LegCo Brief explains, the Bill is intended to make minor, technical and largely non-controversial amendments to effect minor improvements to existing legislation.

5. Among the large number of amendments proposed by the Bill, the following may be of greater interest to Members -

  1. clarifying the effect of an existing detention order, supervision order and recall order to which a person is subject to, if such person is further sentenced to detention;

  2. allowing discharge by the court of an encumbered property by payment into the court of an amount sufficient to meet the encumbrance;

  3. abrogating the common law rule of "year and a day", which forbids the conviction of a person of the offence of homicide if the victim does not die within a year and a day after the injury was inflicted; and

  4. in matters of transfer of sentenced persons back to Hong Kong, clarifying that an inward warrant may be issued in respect of a sentenced person who is serving an indeterminate sentence otherwise than on account of his mental incapacity.

6. Another important purpose of the Bill is to put it beyond doubt that subsidiary legislation gazetted shortly before 1 July 1997 and not laid before the Legislative Council as required under section 34 of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1) shall have legal effect despite the omission.

7. For this purpose, the Bill proposes to deem those items of subsidiary legislation to have been laid on the table of the Council. The Administration aims thereby to remove any doubt on their effect. In this connection, the Bill also makes provisions to indemnify persons from liability (if any) in respect of the omission and to make clear that no retrospective offences or retrospective increases in penalties will result and no existing legal proceedings will be affected.

Public Consultation

9. There is no mention of any public consultation in the LegCo Brief.

Consultation with LegCo Panel

10. The Bill was briefly discussed in the meeting of the Panel on the Administration of Justice and Legal Services on 27 May 1999.

11. The issues relating to the effect of subsidiary legislation not duly laid before the Council have been discussed by the Subcommittee to study issues relating to the tabling of subsidiary legislation in Legislative Council, which reported its deliberations to the House Committee on 7 and 28 May 1999.


12. Members may wish to consider whether there is any identifiable policy issue that they would like to have a closer look through a Bills Committee.

13. Due to the large number of amendments, scrutiny of the legal and drafting aspects of the Bill is still continuing.

Prepared by

CHEUNG Ping-Kam, Arthur
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
22 June 1999