Legislative Council

LC Paper No. LS 77/98-99

Paper for the House Committee Meeting
of the Legislative Council
on 8 January 1999

Legal Service Division Report on
Adaptation of Laws (No. 13) Bill 1998

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. CSO/ADM CR 6/3231/98 Pt. 2 issued by the Administration Wing of the Chief Secretary for Administration's Office in December 1998.

Date of First Reading

3. 6 January 1999.


4. A list of the ordinances affected by the adaptation bill and a summary of the proposed amendments are at Annexes A and B respectively.

5. The amendments proposed by the Bill are essentially technical and drafting changes.

6. 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.

Public Consultation

7. There has not been any public consultation on the Bill.

Consultation with LegCo Panel

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


11. The Bill proposes among other things to substitute "Chief Executive in Council" for "Governor" in a provision conferring a power on the Governor to make subsidiary legislation. Similar amendments have been proposed in the Adaptation of Laws Bill 1998 and are being considered by the Bills Committee concerned. Members may therefore wish to wait until that Committee has reported to the House Committee before deciding on how this Bill should be dealt with.

12. The opportunity will be taken in the interim to clarify some technical points with the Administration on the Bill.

Prepared by

CHEUNG Ping-Kam, Arthur
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
6 January 1999

Annex A

List of Ordinances affected by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 13) Bill 1998

  1. Jury Ordinance (Cap. 3)

  2. Official Languages Ordinance (Cap. 5) and High Court Civil Procedure (Use of Language) Rules (sub. leg.)

  3. Legal Aid Ordinance (Cap. 91) and Legal Aid Regulations (sub. leg.)

  4. Pension Benefits (Judicial Officers) Ordinance (Cap. 401) and Pension Benefits (Judicial Officers) Regulations (sub. leg.)

  5. Judicial Officers (Tenure of Office) Ordinance (Cap. 433) and Judicial Officers (Tribunal) Rules (sub. leg.)

  6. Legal Aid Services Council Ordinance (Cap. 489)

Annex B

Adaptation of Laws (No. 13) Bill 1998

Summary of the proposed technical amendments

A. Terminology

Original Terms

Proposed Amendments

Governor in Council

Chief Executive/
Chief Executive in Council

Judicial Service Commission

Judicial Officers
Recommendation Commission

B. Provisions

  1. The references to service in other Commonwealth governments for the purpose of computing pension in the definitions of "public service" and "service" in Pensions Benefits (Judicial Officers) Ordinance are made to apply to officers appointed before commencement of the Bill but made inapplicable to officers appointed thereafter.

  2. The reference to Article XVIA of the Letters Patent is replaced by that to Article 89 of Basic Law.