LC Paper No. LS 58/98-99
Paper for the House Committee MeetingObject of the Bill
of the Legislative Council
on 13 November 1998
Legal Service Division Report on
Adaptation of Laws (No. 3) Bill 1998
To repeal certain Ordinances and subsidiary legislation that are not in conformity with the status of Hong Kong as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.
LegCo Brief Reference
2. SBCR 1/5/1162/88 (98) dated 22 October 1998 issued by the Security Bureau.
Date of First Reading
3. 11 November 1998.
4. The Bill proposes to repeal the Foreign Jurisdiction (Expenses) Ordinance (Cap. 223), the Smuggling into China (Control) Ordinance (Cap. 242) and the Smuggling into China (Control) Specification (Cap. 242 sub. leg.) which are not in conformity with the status of Hong Kong as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and have become obsolete.
5. The Foreign Jurisdiction (Expenses) Ordinance (Cap. 223) provides for expenses in relation to persons ordinarily residing in Hong Kong who have been convicted or acquitted on the ground of insanity before courts in any country or place out of Her Majesty's dominions under the Foreign Jurisdiction Acts. Sections 6 and 9 of the Foreign Jurisdiction Act 1890 apply to any British colony and were in force in Hong Kong prior to 1 July 1997 by virtue of the Application of English Law Ordinance (Cap. 88).
6. The two sections of the Foreign Jurisdiction Act have ceased to apply to Hong Kong since 1 July 1997 because:
- Hong Kong is no longer a British colony; and
- the Application of English Law Ordinance (Cap. 88) has not been adopted as the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region pursuant to the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on the Treatment of the Laws previously in force in Hong Kong in accordance with Article 160 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China adopted on 23 February 1997.
Accordingly, the Foreign Jurisdiction (Expenses) Ordinance (Cap. 223) has become obsolete. According to the LegCo Brief, no record could be traced of any expenses incurred in relation to the Ordinance.
7. The Smuggling into China (Control) Ordinance (Cap. 242) and its subsidiary legislation were enacted in 1948 to give effect to an agreement negotiated by the British Government and the then Chinese National Government for various measures to prevent smuggling between Hong Kong and China. These measures include restricting the locations for loading of certain types of vessels or landing of cargo destined for China, enabling Chinese Maritime Customs to patrol and take enforcement actions in certain territorial waters of Hong Kong specified in the Ordinance ("the prohibited area").
8. According to the LegCo Brief, the smuggling offences in Cap. 242 have not been invoked since the enactment of the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap. 60) in 1972. Following the promulgation of the boundary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by the State Council of the People's Republic of China in its Order No. 221 on 1 July 1997, the prohibited area specified in Cap. 242 has also become obsolete.
9. The Administration has confirmed, that in so far as the Department of Justice is aware, all legislation that need to be repealed in their entirety for the purpose of this Bill have been included.
10. There has not been any public consultation on the Bill.
Consultation with the LegCo Panel
11. No consultation with any LegCo Panel on the details of the Bill has been carried out.
12. The legal and drafting aspects of the Bill are in order. Subject to Members' views, the Bill is ready for resumption of the Second Reading debate.
Wong Sze-man, Bernice
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
11 November 1998