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法 案 委 員 會
主 席 手 冊



HANDBOOK FOR
CHAIRMEN OF
BILLS COMMITTEES












主席手冊的目的



本手冊以便覽方式,載述相關的規則和慣例,並提供一般指引,協助法案委員會主席了解本身的職責、權力和權限,以及籌備會議、主持會議及處理會議的跟進工作。本手冊載述的慣例只供參考。

本手冊亦在適當之處援引《議事規則》及《內務守則》的有關條文,方便參考。





PURPOSE OF THE CHAIRMAN HANDBOOK



This Handbook provides quick reference to the relevant rules and practices as well as general guidelines to assist Chairmen of Bills Committees in understanding their responsibilities, powers and authority; and making preparations for a meeting, chairing a meeting and undertaking the follow-up work of a meeting. The practices set out in this Handbook are for reference only.

For easy reference, the relevant rules in the Rules of Procedure ("RoP") and the House Rules ("HR") are cited where appropriate.






至2018年1月的修訂本
Amended to January 2018

*Click here to download the whole document (PDF file)






TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTERS
1.GENERAL
2.SCRUTINISING A BILL
3.PREPARATIONS FOR A MEETING
4.CONDUCTING A MEETING
5.VISITS
6.SUBCOMMITTEES AND WORKING GROUPS
7.POWERS TO SUMMON WITNESSES
8.FOLLOW-UP WORK OF A MEETING


CHAPTER 1GENERAL
Work of a Bills Committee
Election of Chairman and Deputy Chairman
Chairman
• Responsibilities
• Powers and authority
• Guiding principles
Membership
Non-Bills Committee members' attendance
Meeting schedule
Public's attendance
Support service
• Clerk
• Legal adviser
• Research support

CHAPTER 2SCRUTINISING A BILL
Stages
Inviting public views
Work progress
Merits and principles
Clause-by-clause examination
Amendments
Procedural matters relating to resumption of Second Reading debate
Holding work in abeyance
Subsidiary legislation
Notice for resumption
Consultation with House Committee Chairman
Withdrawal of bill
Dissolution of a Bills Committee

CHAPTER 3PREPARATIONS FOR A MEETING
First meeting
Subsequent meetings
• Meeting schedule
• Clash of meetings
• Lunch time meetings
Notice of meeting
Agenda
• Deciding on agenda items
• Revised agenda
• Time allowed for each item
Inviting attendees
• The Administration
• Other organisations
Deputations
• Invitation
• Submission of views
• Speaking order
• Speaking time
Background briefs
Papers from the Administration
Information notes/fact sheets
Research reports
Personal data
Defamatory expressions
Other papers
Chairman's Brief
Meeting with the Clerk

CHAPTER 4CONDUCTING A MEETING
Chairing meetings
Quorum
Venue not available
Keeping time
Order of agenda items
Privileges and immunities
Order of speaking
Pecuniary interest
Voting
Decisions
Voting right of Chairman
Conduct
• Members
• Public
Motion without notice
• Substantive motions
• Procedural motions
Extension of meetings
Language

CHAPTER 5VISITS
Purpose
Visits outside Hong Kong
• Permission of the House Committee
• Forming the delegation
• Funding
• Preparatory work
• Role of the Clerk
Visits outside Hong Kong in response to invitations
Visits in Hong Kong

CHAPTER 6SUBCOMMITTEES AND WORKING GROUPS
Subcommittees
• Appointment
• Terms of reference
• Voting and decisions
• Voting right of Chairman
• Procedures and practices
• Reporting to the Bills Committee
• Dissolution
Working groups
• Formation
• No privileges and immunities
• Terms of reference
• Reporting to the Bills Committee
• Dissolution

CHAPTER 7POWERS TO SUMMON WITNESSES
Powers to summon witnesses
Proposal to appoint a select committee

CHAPTER 8FOLLOW-UP WORK OF A MEETING
Decisions
Minutes
Verbatim records
Reports for the House Committee
• Report to seek an extension to work beyond three months
• Report of a Bills Committee on holding its work in abeyance
• Report upon completion of scrutiny work
• Report on a bill which is to be withdrawn
• Comments by the Administration and Chairman
• Speaking note
Reporting to the Legislative Council
• Resumption of Second Reading debate
• No indication of resumption of Second Reading debate
• Resumption of Second Reading debate on a bill for the purpose of withdrawing it
Addressing the Council


APPENDICES
IRestrictions on moving of Committee Stage amendments to bills

IICritical dates for consultation with the Chairman of the House Committee on resumption of Second Reading debates on bills under Rule 54(5)

IIIList of public officers designated by the Chief Executive for the purpose of attending meetings of the Legislative Council or its committees

IVExpressions which have been ruled to be offensive and insulting language about Members or public officers attending the relevant meeting or unparliamentary in the context in which the expressions were used





CHAPTER 1 GENERAL

Paragraphs
Work of a Bills Committee1.1 - 1.3
Election of Chairman and Deputy Chairman1.4 - 1.7
Chairman1.8 - 1.14
Membership1.15 - 1.18
Non-Bills Committee members' attendance1.19
Meeting schedule1.20 - 1.22
Public's attendance1.23 - 1.25
Support service1.26 - 1.30


Work of a Bills Committee

1.1A Bills Committee may be formed by the House Committee to scrutinise any bill, except the Appropriation Bill and bills not referred by the Legislative Council (LegCo) to the House Committee. [RoP 54(4) and 76(1)]

1.2A Bills Committee is a deliberative forum for studying the policy aspect of the bill under scrutiny, its merits and principles, detailed provisions and any proposed amendments to it. [RoP 76(7)]

1.3A Bills Committee does not have the power to summon witnesses to give evidence, unless it has been authorised by the Council to do so. [RoP 80(b)]

Election of Chairman and Deputy Chairman

1.4The Chairman of a Bills Committee is elected by and from members of the Bills Committee at its first meeting. The Bills Committee may also elect a Deputy Chairman, if considered necessary by the Bills Committee. The procedures for the election of Chairman and Deputy Chairman are provided in Appendix IV to the House Rules. [RoP 76(2), HR 21(e) and Appendix IV]

1.5If there are two or more nominations for chairmanship or deputy chairmanship, an election by secret ballot will be held. The Chairman or the member presiding has both an original vote and a casting vote. Where two or more nominees receive the same highest number of valid votes in the election, lots will be drawn in respect of these nominees, and the Chairman or the member presiding shall exercise his/her casting vote in accordance with the lot drawn by him/her. To ensure the secrecy of the ballot papers, the Clerk will supervise the shredding of the ballot papers immediately after the meeting at which the election(s) is held. [RoP 76(8B) and 79A(2), HR 21(e) and Appendix IV]

1.6The Chairman and Deputy Chairman hold office until the dissolution of the Bills Committee. [HR 21(e)]

1.7A Member whose late application for membership of a Bills Committee is accepted may not seek a re-election of the Chairman or Deputy Chairman by reason of his/her joining the Bills Committee (see paragraphs 1.15 to 1.17 below). [HR 23(d)]

Chairman

Responsibilities

1.8The responsibilities of the Chairman of a Bills Committee are not explicitly stipulated in the Rules of Procedure or House Rules. However, it is generally accepted by Members that the Chairman has the following responsibilities -

(a)steering the work of the Bills Committee in consultation with its members;

(b)chairing meetings and ensuring that the business on the agenda is transacted in a proper and efficient manner;

(c)maintaining order at meetings;

(d)presenting the report of the Bills Committee to the House Committee;

(e)tabling and speaking on the report of the Bills Committee in Council; and

(f)moving Committee Stage amendments agreed to by the Bills Committee on its behalf.

1.9The responsibilities of the Chairman are discussed in greater detail in the following chapters.

Powers and authority

1.10The Chairman of a Bills Committee has certain powers and authority. Some of these are provided or reflected in the Rules of Procedure and House Rules. Others are exercised by the Chairman based on practices generally accepted by Members.

1.11The powers and authority of a Chairman are summarised below -

(a)Membership of a Bills Committee

Rules

(i)determining whether a late application for membership of a Bills Committee on the ground of a Member's indisposition or absence from Hong Kong should be accepted [HR 23(b)]

(b)Preparations for a meeting

Rules

(i)determining the date, time and place of a meeting [RoP 76(5)]

(ii)directing that written notice shorter than three days for a meeting may be given [RoP 76(5), HR 24(c)]

(iii)determining the agenda of a meeting [RoP 79C]

(iv)deciding on the time allotted for discussion on each item on the agenda of a meeting [HR 24(m)]

(v)determining whether a meeting should be cancelled if a Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 8 or above or a Black Rainstorm Warning Signal is issued or in force within two hours before the appointed time of the meeting [HR 28(b)]

Practices

(vi)deciding on the deadline for submissions, the order of speaking of deputations and their speaking time

(vii)deciding whether translation into Chinese should be arranged for submissions made in English

(viii)deciding whether certain documents should be circulated to members

(ix)deciding how documents containing defamatory remarks/expressions should be dealt with

(x)giving direction to the Clerk on logistical arrangements for meetings of the Bills Committee

(xi)consenting to the issuance of background briefs and other papers of the Bills Committee prepared by the Clerk to members

(xii)consenting to the issuance of the outline of a research study to members

(xiii)consenting to the issuance of information notes and fact sheets to members

(c)Conducting a meeting

Rules

(i)determining whether certain rules of speaking at Council meetings should apply to meetings of the Bills Committee [RoP 43]

(ii)deciding on a point of order [RoP 44]

(iii)directing a Member, who persists in irrelevance or tedious repetition of his own or other Members’ arguments in the debate, to discontinue his speech, after calling the attention of the committee to the conduct of that Member [RoP 45(1)]

(iv)ordering a Member whose conduct is grossly disorderly to withdraw from a meeting [RoP 45(2)]

(v)having an original vote, and having a casting vote in addition to his/her original vote in an election of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Bills Committee [RoP 76(8) and (8B), HR 21(e) and Appendix IV]

(vi)closing a meeting when a quorum is not present [HR 24(g) and (h)]

(vii)closing a meeting if a Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 8 is issued when the meeting is in progress [HR 28(c)]

(viii)deciding whether to close or continue with a meeting if a Black Rainstorm Warning Signal is issued when the meeting is in progress [HR 28(d)]

(ix)ordering the removal of a member of the press or the public who behaves, or who appears likely to behave, in a disorderly manner from a meeting [RoP 87, HR 24(s)]

(x)deciding whether to give consent to a member who has risen without notice to move a motion that members of the press and of the public do withdraw for the remainder of the day’s meeting or during the consideration of certain business as specified by the member [RoP 88(1)]

Practices

(xi)ruling on how a motion moved at a meeting of the Bills Committee should be dealt with

(xii)ruling on procedural matters either on his/her own motion or in response to a point of order raised at a meeting

(d)Visits of a Bills Committee

Rules

(i)deciding, in consultation with other Members or the host organisation, whether a scheduled visit in Hong Kong should be cancelled or postponed if less than three Members have signed up for the visit [HR 29(d)]

Practices

(ii)giving direction to the Clerk on logistical arrangements for visits of the Bills Committee

(e)Follow-up work of a meeting

Rules

(i)deciding whether the comments of the Administration and other attendees on the minutes of a meeting or any part of the minutes should be sought [HR 25(d) and (e)]

Practices

(ii)clearing reports and minutes of meetings of the Bills Committee prepared by the Clerk

1.12The powers and authority of a Chairman are discussed in greater detail in the following chapters.

Guiding principles

1.13As the Chairman chairs meetings and has the responsibility to ensure that the business on the agenda is transacted in a proper and efficient manner, he/she should be familiar with the relevant rules in the Rules of Procedure and House Rules and practices of Bills Committees. The Chairman should consult the Bills Committee on the course of action to be taken regarding a certain matter, if there are no relevant rules or practices.

1.14The Chairman should conduct himself/herself with impartiality in discharging his/her responsibilities. He/she should ensure that members have adequate opportunities to take part in the deliberations of the Bills Committee. Where there are differences of opinion, the Chairman should give each side an equal chance to express its views.

Membership

1.15Members are free to join any Bills Committee. Members of a Bills Committee are those who have signified membership before the deadline for application and those whose late application for membership has been accepted. Unless a member withdraws membership, he/she remains a member until the Bills Committee is dissolved. A Bills Committee must have at least three Members. [RoP 76(1A) and (3), HR 21(b), (c) and (d)]

1.16Acceptance of a late application for membership on the ground that the Member concerned was indisposed or away from Hong Kong during the time when membership for the Bills Committee is invited is decided by the Chairman. If the late application is not made on such reasons, it will be for the Bills Committee to decide whether there are sufficient grounds to accept the application. [HR 23(b) and (c)]

1.17Any Member whose late application is rejected by the Chairman or the Bills Committee may put his/her case to the House Committee for a decision. [HR 23(e)]

1.18Members of a Bills Committee should try to attend all meetings and stay through each meeting. [HR 21(i)(ii)]

Non-Bills Committee members' attendance

1.19A Member may attend any meeting of any Bills Committee, regardless of whether he/she is a member of that Bills Committee. A non-Bills Committee member, however, does not have any voting right in respect of the business of the Bills Committee. [HR 24(d)]

Meeting schedule

1.20At the first meeting of the Bills Committee, the Chairman should invite the Bills Committee to consider whether it is necessary to anticipate the number of subsequent meetings and set tentative dates for these meetings. Whenever feasible, a Bills Committee should meet frequently. [HR 21(i)(i) and 24(l)]

1.21In normal circumstances, the Bills Committee should not book more than three time slots at a time. [HR 24(l)]

1.22If a Bills Committee, however, decides to meet very frequently or it has difficulties in finding meeting slots, it may be necessary to book more than three time slots in advance.

Public's attendance

1.23Meetings of a Bills Committee are held in public unless the Chairman instructs otherwise in accordance with the decision of the Bills Committee. [RoP 76(6)]

1.24Where a decision is to be made on whether a meeting or any part of it should be held in private, the decision should be made at an open meeting.

1.25The public should be admitted to all open meetings of a Bills Committee as long as there are seats in the public galleries of the meeting venue. [HR 24(q)]

Support service

Clerk

1.26A Clerk is assigned to each Bills Committee. The Clerk together with his/her team provide secretariat services for the Bills Committee and its subcommittees/working groups. The Clerk is the procedural adviser to the Chairman and the Bills Committee, as well as the resource person on the subjects discussed by the Bills Committee. The Clerk follows up decisions of the Bills Committee and prepares background briefs, minutes of meetings, and reports, etc. The Clerk also oversees logistical arrangements for meetings and visits of the Bills Committee.

Legal adviser

1.27A legal adviser is assigned to each Bills Committee to provide legal advice and support to the Bills Committee and its subcommittees/working groups.

1.28Committee Stage amendments to be moved by the Bills Committee to the bill are drafted by the legal adviser. Amendments to be moved by the Administration are scrutinised by the legal adviser to ascertain that the drafting reflects what has been discussed at meetings. The drafting of amendments which an individual member is considering to move is the responsibility of the member concerned. The legal adviser may provide assistance if necessary.

Research support

1.29The Research Office provides research support for Bills Committees. On the instruction of a Bills Committee, the Office undertakes an in-depth study and analysis of a subject and produces a report for the Bills Committee. References to overseas practices and experiences in other places outside Hong Kong are normally made in such a study.

1.30The Office also produces short information notes or fact sheets on topical issues or issues of concern on its own initiative or as suggested by a Bills Committee. Such information notes or fact sheets may also make reference to experiences and practices of other places.


CHAPTER 2 SCRUTINISING A BILL

Paragraphs
Stages2.1 - 2.2
Inviting public views2.3 - 2.5
Work progress2.6 - 2.9
Merits and principles2.10 - 2.12
Clause-by-clause examination2.13 - 2.16
Amendments2.17 - 2.25
Procedural matters relating to resumption of Second Reading debate2.26 - 2.29
Holding work in abeyance2.30 - 2.32
Subsidiary legislation2.33
Notice for resumption2.34 - 2.37
Consultation with House Committee Chairman2.38 - 2.40
Withdrawal of bill2.41 - 2.43
Dissolution of a Bills Committee2.44


Stages

2.1The scrutiny work of a Bills Committee normally comprises the following stages -

(a)first, to consider the general merits and principles of the bill, including its policy aspect [RoP 76(7)];

(b)second, to consider the drafting and legal aspects through examining the bill clause by clause [RoP 76(7)];

(c)third, to consider amendments, if any, to the bill [RoP 76(7)]; and

(d)fourth, to consider procedural matters relating to the resumption of Second Reading debate.

Individual Bills Committee may make adjustment, if necessary, to the sequence of the above stages to suit its circumstances. For instance, to expedite scrutiny of an urgent bill, the Bills Committee concerned may decide to immediately examine the bill clause by clause, and the general merits and principles are considered during clause-by-clause examination.

2.2The stages are discussed in greater detail in paragraphs 2.10 to 2.29 below.

Inviting public views

2.3It is for the Bills Committee to decide whether public views on the bill under its study should be invited. It should be noted that on occasions, the Administration may have consulted selected organisations/bodies in the course of formulating details of the bill. However, these organisations/bodies may not have the opportunity to express their views on the draft or final text of the bill.

2.4There is no standard practice as to whether views should be obtained first before the Bills Committee proceeds to scrutinise the bill, or whether obtaining views and scrutinising the bill should proceed in parallel. It is also for individual Bills Committees to decide.

2.5Arrangements in respect of inviting deputations are discussed in paragraphs 3.23 to 3.33 below.

Work progress

2.6The scrutiny of a bill should be conducted quickly and, whenever possible, be completed within three months of its commencement. Should there be the need for a Bills Committee to work beyond this period, the Chairman should report to the House Committee for an extension of the period (see paragraph 8.12 below). [HR 21(h)]

2.7The Chairman of a Bills Committee should monitor closely its work. [HR 21(i)(iv)]

2.8The Chairman should regularly review the progress of the scrutiny of the bill with the Clerk and the legal adviser to the Bills Committee, and consult the Bills Committee on the way forward. For instance, the Bills Committee may need more time to scrutinise the bill, or scrutiny of the bill may need to be expedited.

2.9Re-opening of discussion on issues on which there has been full deliberation should not be allowed. [HR 21(i)(iii)]

Merits and principles

2.10As discussed in paragraph 2.1 above, in scrutinising a bill, it is the normal practice to first consider the general merits and principles of the bill, including its policy aspect. [RoP 76(7)]

2.11If the bill is complex, the Bills Committee should draw up a work plan to guide its work. The work plan should set out the subject areas or policy issues to be studied as well as the order of and timeframe for studying these areas or issues.

2.12Normally, the Chairman, with the assistance of the Clerk and the legal adviser, prepares a draft work plan for the consideration of the Bills Committee.

Clause-by-clause examination

2.13In conducting clause-by-clause examination of a bill, the Chairman should invite the Bills Committee to first examine either the English text or the Chinese text of the bill. In the case of an amendment bill, a marked-up copy of the relevant ordinance(s) to be amended by the bill will be prepared by the Legal Service Division to assist the Bills Committee in its scrutiny. [RoP 76(7)]

2.14At the commencement of clause-by-clause examination, the Administration should brief members on the overall structure of the bill. The Bills Committee should first examine the long title and preamble (if any) of the bill, and then examine the clauses and schedules (if any) one by one, in accordance with their serial number.

2.15In examining a clause, the Chairman should invite the Administration to explain the clause and, if necessary, the relevant clauses or schedules. The Chairman should also invite the legal adviser to give his/her views, if any, on the legal or drafting aspects of the clause and the relevant clauses or schedules.

2.16After examination of the text of the bill in one language has been completed, the Bills Committee should move on to consider the text in the other language. Alternatively, the Bills Committee may request the legal adviser to examine the text in the other language, and to alert the Bills Committee if issues are identified at this stage of work which require the Bills Committee to consider.

Amendments

2.17It is the normal practice for a Bills Committee to consider any Committee Stage amendments proposed by the Administration, the Bills Committee and individual members to the bill, and to attach the text of the amendments to its written report for the House Committee (see paragraph 8.21 below). [RoP 76(7)]

2.18To facilitate the Bills Committee to consider the proposed amendments, the Administration is normally invited to provide the following papers -

(a)explanation on the amendments proposed by the Administration; and

(b)the Administration's written response to the amendments proposed by the Bills Committee or individual members.

2.19The Administration or the legal adviser is normally invited to provide a marked-up copy of the relevant bill and/or ordinances showing the proposed amendments.

2.20It may be necessary for the Bills Committee to invite deputations, such as the relevant professional bodies or trade associations, to give views on important or controversial amendments.

2.21In the situation where the Administration does not agree to move certain amendments and there is agreement among the majority of the members on the amendments, the Bills Committee should consider whether the Chairman should move the amendments on behalf of the Bills Committee.

2.22If the Chairman is not in favour of the proposed amendments, he/she should invite the Bills Committee to consider whether the Deputy Chairman (if any) or any other member who is in favour of the amendments should move the amendments on behalf of the Bills Committee.

2.23Amendments to be moved by the Bills Committee are drafted by the legal adviser to the Bills Committee. The drafting of amendments which an individual member is considering to move is the responsibility of the member concerned. The legal adviser may provide assistance if necessary.

2.24Notice of Committee Stage amendments is to be given not less than seven clear days before the relevant Council meeting (see paragraph 2.26(b) below). The President has the discretion to dispense with the notice. [RoP 57(2)]

2.25Committee Stage amendments to a bill are subject to certain restrictions in the Rules of Procedure, as detailed in Appendix I. [RoP 57(4) to (6)]

Procedural matters relating to resumption of Second Reading debate

2.26At an appropriate juncture, e.g. when the Bills Committee is about to conclude its deliberation, the Chairman should request the Administration to indicate the date of the resumption of the Second Reading debate on the bill, to enable the Bills Committee to -

(a)plan when it will provide a report on its deliberations to the House Committee (see paragraph 8.15 to 8.21 below); and

(b)ascertain the deadline for giving notice of Committee Stage amendments (paragraph 2.24 above refers).

2.27The Chairman should invite members to indicate whether they support the resumption date, and request the Administration to reconsider if the Bills Committee does not support the resumption date.

2.28In the situation where the Bills Committee has completed its work, but the Administration has not yet decided on the resumption date, the Bills Committee should proceed to provide its report to the House Committee (see paragraph 8.15 to 8.21 below).

2.29The requisite notice period for resumption of Second Reading debate on bills and the consultation process with the Chairman of the House Committee are discussed in paragraphs 2.34 to 2.40 below.

Holding work in abeyance

2.30On its own initiative or at the request of the Administration, the Bills Committee may decide to hold its work in abeyance and release its slot to the House Committee. For instance, a Bills Committee may hold its work in abeyance to allow the Administration time (e.g. a few months or more) to conduct consultation or to respond to issues or queries raised by the Bills Committee.

2.31If the Bills Committee decides to hold its work in abeyance, a report should be made to the House Committee (see paragraphs 8.13 to 8.14 below). [HR 21(g) and (i)(iv)]

2.32Upon receiving such a report from the Bills Committee, the House Committee decides whether the next Bills Committee on the waiting list should be activated. A Bills Committee held in abeyance will not normally be reactivated until a vacant slot arises to accommodate its reactivation. [HR 21(g)]

Subsidiary legislation

2.33Normally, a Bills Committee does not study the draft subsidiary legislation to be made under the bill after its enactment, except if the Bills Committee considers that studying the draft subsidiary legislation is essential to the scrutiny of the bill.

Notice for resumption

2.34If resumption of debate is to take place nine clear days after the meeting of House Committee at which the bill is considered in preparation for resumption, notice of resumption is to be given no later than two clear days after that House Committee meeting. [RoP 54(5)(a) and (e)]

2.35If the House Committee recommends that the Second Reading debate be resumed at the following Council meeting, resumption may take place with the permission of the President and notice of resumption is to be given no later than two clear days after that House Committee meeting. [RoP 54(5)(c) and (e)]

2.36In other situations, notice of resumption of debate is to be given by the public officer or Member in charge of the bill not less than 12 clear days before the relevant Council meeting. [RoP 54(5)(d)]

2.37The President has the discretion to dispense with the notice for resumption of Second Reading debate referred to in paragraphs 2.34 to 2.36 above. [RoP 54(5)]

Consultation with House Committee Chairman

2.38The public officer in charge of a bill is required to consult the Chairman of the House Committee on the resumption of the Second Reading debate on the bill. [RoP 54(5)]

2.39As agreed with the Administration, the public officer in charge of the bill is required to issue a letter to consult the Chairman of the House Committee on the resumption date no less than 12 clear days before the relevant Council meeting. The timing for issuing the consultation letter to the Chairman of the House Committee will be advanced, if there are intervening public holidays/Council break falling within the consultation period. The relevant dates for consultation in respect of the Council meetings in the current session are detailed in Appendix II.

2.40The system of consultation also applies to bills presented by Members.

Withdrawal of bill

2.41In the situation where the public officer or Member in charge of a bill decides not to proceed with the bill, he/she may give notice to resume the Second Reading debate on the bill for the purpose of making an announcement for the withdrawal of the bill. The public officer or the Member may address the Council on matters relevant to the withdrawal but no debate may arise on such an address. [RoP 21(4A) and (6), 64(2) and (3), HR 2 and 21(n)]

2.42The Bills Committee concerned should provide a report to the House Committee (see paragraphs 8.21 and 8.22 below).

2.43The system of consultation detailed in paragraphs 2.38 to 2.40 above applies to such resumption.

Dissolution of a Bills Committee

2.44A Bills Committee is dissolved as soon as the bill it has considered passes through the Council, or when the House Committee so decides. [HR 21(r)]


CHAPTER 3 PREPARATIONS FOR A MEETING

Paragraphs
First meeting3.1 - 3.2
Subsequent meetings3.3 - 3.9
Notice of meeting3.10 - 3.11
Agenda3.12 - 3.19
Inviting attendees3.20 - 3.22
Deputations3.23 - 3.33
Background briefs3.34 - 3.35
Papers from the Administration3.36 - 3.38
Information notes/fact sheets3.39
Research reports3.40 - 3.41
Personal data3.42
Defamatory expressions3.43
Other papers3.44
Chairman's Brief3.45 - 3.46
Meeting with the Clerk3.47


First meeting

3.1The member who has the highest precedence on the preliminary membership list sets the date and time of the first meeting. The preliminary membership list comprises those Members who have indicated their intention to join the Bills Committee at the House Committee meeting. [HR 21(c)]

3.2The election of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman takes place at the first meeting. After the election, the Bills Committee will normally -

(a)meet with the Administration to commence discussion on the bill;

(b)consider whether it is necessary to invite deputations to give views on the bill;

(c)determine the frequency of meetings; and

(d)set the dates and time of subsequent meetings.

Subsequent meetings

Meeting schedule

3.3The Chairman sets the date and time of a meeting. Whenever feasible, the Bills Committee should meet frequently. [RoP 76(5), HR 21(i)(i)]

3.4If the Bills Committee has agreed on a meeting schedule, the Chairman should set the date and time of a meeting according to the schedule, unless there is reason to re-schedule the meeting. Members should be informed of the reason for re-scheduling.

3.5If a member of a Bills Committee makes a request for holding a meeting to discuss a specific issue of urgent importance and the Chairman cannot be contacted for considering the request within 48 hours, the Deputy Chairman will then decide whether to convene the meeting and, if convened, the date, time and place of it. [RoP 79B]

3.6To enable the Clerk to convey a request for holding an urgent meeting of a Bills Committee, the Chairman and Deputy Chairman should provide the Clerk with adequate information on how they can be contacted.

Clash of meetings

3.7Efforts should be made, as far as practicable, to avoid scheduling two meetings within the same time slot. [HR 24(b)]

3.8If a clash of two meetings cannot be avoided, there should be no or minimum overlapping of membership between the two committees, or no member of the Bills Committee is expected to attend the other meeting.

Lunch time meetings

3.9Where necessary, a meeting during lunch time, normally from 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm, may be scheduled.

Notice of meeting

3.10Notice of the date, time and venue of a meeting should be given by the Clerk at least three days before the meeting unless the Chairman agrees that shorter notice be given. [RoP 76(5), HR 24(c)]

3.11The agenda for a meeting should be issued together with the notice of that meeting.

Agenda

Deciding on agenda items

3.12The agenda of a meeting of a Bills Committee shall be determined by its Chairman, except where its Deputy Chairman (if any) has made a determination in accordance with Rule 79B (Determining the Time and the Place of a Meeting of a Committee by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee). [RoP 79C] It is the normal practice for the Chairman to consult members at a Bills Committee meeting on the agenda items for future meetings.

3.13The agenda items of a Bills Committee meeting are normally couched in general terms, such as "Meeting with the Administration", "Continue discussion with the Administration". "Meeting with deputations" or "Clause-by-clause examination". If the Bills Committee has drawn up a work plan setting out the subject areas and policy issues to be studied and the order of studying these areas or issues, the Chairman should consider whether the specific areas or issues to be discussed at a particular meeting should be stated in the agenda to facilitate members to prepare for the meeting and to bring along the relevant papers to the meeting.

3.14The agenda, as determined by the Chairman, should be issued to members together with the notice of meeting.

3.15Upon the request of the Administration or individual members, it is for the Chairman to decide whether a special/urgent item or subject area/policy issue should be added to the agenda of a meeting. In considering whether to accede to the request, the Chairman should have regard to -

(a)whether sufficient time can be allotted to the item/subject area/policy issue;

(b)whether sufficient notice can be given to members, the Administration and other parties concerned; and

(c)whether relevant information about the item/subject area/policy issue can be provided to members at a reasonable time before the meeting to facilitate discussion on it.

3.16Where there is a request to defer discussion on an item/subject area/policy issue, it is for the Chairman to decide whether the request should be acceded to, having regard to relevant factors such as whether there is urgency in discussing the item/subject area/policy issue or whether the item/subject area/policy issue is controversial (see paragraph 3.38 below regarding late submission of papers and Committee Stage amendments). The Chairman may consult, if he considers it appropriate, members of the Bills Committee before making his decision.

3.17Where there is a request to alter the order of items/subject areas/policy issues on an agenda, the Chairman should consider whether there is good reason for the request, whether the change will cause inconvenience for other attendees, and whether reasonable notice can be given to members about the change, before making a decision on the request.

Revised agenda

3.18Where subsequent changes are made to the agenda of a meeting, a revised agenda should be issued as soon as possible by the Clerk, to ensure that members are given notice of what will be discussed at the meeting.

Time allowed for each item

3.19It is for the Chairman to decide beforehand the time allowed for discussion on each item/subject area/policy issue, and instruct the Clerk to have the time indicated on the agenda. [HR 24(m)]

Inviting attendees

The Administration

3.20It is the normal practice for the policy bureau concerned to coordinate the attendance of public officers for discussion on a certain item/subject area/policy issue.

3.21The Chairman or the Bills Committee may request that a certain public officer be invited. [RoP 9(4)]

Other organisations

3.22Representatives, other than those from the Administration, such as representatives of public bodies, may be invited by a Bills Committee to attend its meeting for discussion on a certain item/subject area/policy issue on the agenda.

Deputations1Legend symbol denoting In this Handbook, deputations include groups/organisations as well as individual members of the public who are interested in submitting their views to a Bills Committee on a certain subject.

Invitation

3.23A Bills Committee may invite deputations to make written submissions and oral representations to the Bills Committee on the bill. The Chairman normally invites members to give views on which organisations or individuals should be approached.

3.24If the bill in question is of wide public concern, it is the normal practice for the Bills Committee to invite views from the public by issuing press releases and/or posting a notice on the LegCo website. Advertisements may also be placed in one English newspaper and one Chinese newspaper as decided by the Chairman or the Bills Committee, but consideration should be given to the cost involved. If a Bills Committee decides to invite views by any one of the three approaches mentioned above, the Bills Committee should also invite the 18 District Councils to give views on the bill.

Submission of views

3.25Unless there is great urgency in obtaining views from deputations, it is the normal practice to allow two to three weeks for deputations to send in their written submissions. The deadline for submissions and requests for making oral representations is normally one to two weeks prior to the relevant meeting.

3.26The Chairman decides whether requests for making oral representations, which are received after the deadline, should be acceded to.

3.27Deputations who have put in written submissions prior to the meeting may make further submissions after the meeting on points not covered in their earlier submissions. [HR 25(c)]

3.28The Chairman decides whether translation into Chinese should be arranged for written submissions made in English. Summary translation into Chinese may be considered for very lengthy submissions made in English. Submissions are circulated to members and made available to the public, unless the deputations concerned raised objection.

3.29Written submissions are also forwarded to the Administration for its response to the issues and concerns raised in the submissions.

3.30Where necessary, the Clerk prepares summaries of issues and concerns raised in the submissions received from deputations and the Administration's response to these issues and concerns.

3.31To ensure fairness to participating deputations, each deputation should not be allowed to make oral representation more than once at meetings of the Bills Committee held for the purpose of receiving public views on a subject. However, the Chairman has the discretion to accede to special requests from deputations to make oral representation to the Bills Committee more than once (not necessarily in different capacities) on a subject if the situation so warrants and the Chairman considers that such requests are justified.

Speaking order

3.32The Chairman determines the speaking order of deputations by applying the following criteria -

(a)in the order of receipt of the reply slips; or

(b)by groups having regard to the background or nature of the deputations; or

(c)preference of the deputations, if any.

Speaking time

3.33The Chairman determines the speaking time limit for deputations. In principle, equal speaking time should be allotted to deputations attending the same meeting.

Background briefs

3.34The Clerk prepares a background brief on the relevant bill to facilitate the Bills Committee's discussion at the first meeting of the Bills Committee.

3.35Where practicable and considered necessary by the Chairman, the Clerk prepares background briefs on specific subjects, particularly those involving important, complex, and/or controversial issues, to facilitate the Bills Committee's discussion. The Chairman's consent is sought by the Clerk before issuance of the brief to members.

Papers from the Administration

3.36It is the normal practice to request the Administration to respond in writing to the issues and concerns raised by members, and to provide other relevant discussion papers for a Bills Committee meeting.

3.37Unlike the provision of discussion papers for Panels, there are no agreed deadlines with the Administration for the provision of papers for Bills Committee meetings, because the frequency of Bills Committee meetings varies from case to case.

3.38As a Bills Committee invariably consults the Administration's representatives in fixing the date of its next meeting, the Administration should have assessed its ability to provide discussion papers or draft Committee Stage amendments at a reasonable time before the meeting. In line with the practice of Panels, the Chairman should invite the Bills Committee to consider whether discussion on papers or draft Committee Stage amendments that arrive too late before a meeting should be deferred, if the situation warrants.

Information notes/fact sheets

3.39The consent of the Chairman is sought for issuance of an information note or fact sheet produced by the Research Office.

Research reports

3.40Upon the endorsement of the Bills Committee for a study to be carried out, an outline of the study is prepared for members' comments and endorsement at a meeting or by circulation. The Chairman's consent is sought before issuance of the outline to members.

3.41The Chairman and interested members of the Bills Committee are invited to comment on the draft research report before it is finalised for presentation to the Bills Committee. Internal deliberation may be held to consider whether the draft report has covered all the aspects expected to be covered in the study.

Personal data

3.42Personal data contained in a document is normally obliterated before issuance.

Defamatory expressions

3.43If a document, e.g. submission from a deputation, contains defamatory remarks/expressions made against or which may be embarrassing to any person or body, etc, the Chairman should instruct the Clerk on how such a document should be dealt with. It may be necessary to restrict the circulation of such a document to members only, or to obliterate the remarks/expressions before circulation.

Other papers

3.44The Chairman decides whether certain documents sent to the Bills Committee, which are not related to any agenda item, subject area or policy issue to be discussed, should be circulated to members.

Chairman's Brief

3.45A Brief for the Chairman is prepared by the Clerk for every meeting (other than the first meeting), and is normally sent to the Chairman not less than one working day before the meeting. The Brief usually contains the following information -

(a)the number of members required to form a quorum of the meeting;

(b)a list of the members of the Bills Committee, representatives of the Administration and other organisations and Secretariat staff attending the meeting;

(c)date of the meeting the minutes of which are to be confirmed;

(d)outstanding issues and concerns raised at previous meetings to be followed up and new issues to be discussed by the Bills Committee;

(e)titles of papers for the meeting;

(f)matters requiring the Bills Committee's attention/decision;

(g)a reminder of the date of the next meeting; and

(h)any procedural or other matters to which the Chairman's attention should be drawn.

3.46The following information is also included in the Brief when it is anticipated that the Bills Committee is about to conclude its deliberation -

(a)the date of the Council meeting at which the Second Reading debate on the bill is to resume;

(b)the date of the House Committee meeting at which the Bills Committee is to provide a written report;

(c)the relevant dates in respect of consultation with the Chairman of the House Committee on the resumption of the Second Reading debate on the bill;

(d)the deadline for giving notice of resumption of Second Reading debate; and

(e)the deadline for giving notice of Committee Stage amendments.

Meeting with the Clerk

3.47Where necessary, the Chairman and Deputy Chairman (if any) meet with the Clerk before the meeting to receive an update on the items to be discussed and to consider any procedural points which may be brought up at the meeting.


CHAPTER 4 CONDUCTING A MEETING

Paragraphs
Chairing meetings4.1 - 4.4
Quorum4.5 - 4.8
Venue not available4.9
Keeping time4.10 - 4.11
Order of agenda items4.12
Privileges and immunities4.13 - 4.14
Order of speaking4.15 - 4.16
Pecuniary interest4.17 - 4.19
Voting4.20 - 4.26
Decisions4.27 - 4.28
Voting right of Chairman4.29 - 4.30
Conduct4.31 - 4.37
Motion without notice4.38 - 4.55
Extension of meetings4.56 - 4.61
Language4.62 - 4.63


Chairing meetings

4.1The Chairman of a Bills Committee chairs all its meetings. In his/her absence, the Deputy Chairman (if one has been elected) takes over as the Chair.

4.2In the temporary absence of the Chairman or Deputy Chairman (if one has been elected), the Bills Committee may elect a Chairman to act during the absence. [RoP 76(2)]

4.3Although the Chairman has the same rights, in principle, as any other member to give his/her views, the Chairman should intervene as little as possible in the discussion and should not usually express personal opinions, in order to avoid giving the impression or being accused of taking sides.

4.4Where the Chairman of a Bills Committee considers that there may be concern about conflict of interest or conflict of roles in his/her chairing the meeting for discussion on a certain item, he/she should make a declaration of the matter which is the cause for the concern and invite the Bills Committee to consider whether he/she should preside over the discussion on the item. The Bills Committee may decide whether the Deputy Chairman or another member should preside.

Quorum

4.5The quorum of a Bills Committee is three members including the Chairman or one-third of its members including the Chairman (a fraction of the whole number being disregarded), whichever is the greater. [RoP 76(3)]

4.6If a quorum is not present within 15 minutes of the appointed time, the Chairman should cancel the meeting. [HR 24(g)]

4.7In the case where a meeting has just been cancelled, and then all the members of the Bills Committee are present and the public officers are still available, the Chairman may, with the agreement of all the members, call another meeting to be held immediately. [RoP 76(5), HR 24(c)]

4.8If the attention of the Chairman is drawn by a member of the committee to the fact that a quorum is not present during a meeting, he/she should ask that members be summoned. Unless a quorum is present within 15 minutes, the Chairman should close the meeting. [HR 24(h)]

Venue not available

4.9In the situation where a quorum is present but the venue for a meeting is not available at the appointed meeting time, because the meeting held in the same venue in an earlier time slot has overrun, the following arrangement may be adopted: the Chairman of the meeting in progress should suspend the meeting to enable the other Chairman to declare the meeting open and then immediately suspend the meeting. The earlier meeting can then resume and the other meeting can be held after the earlier meeting has ended.

Keeping time

4.10The Chairman should have regard to the time allotted to each item and should keep tight time control to ensure that business on the agenda is dealt with before the appointed ending time of the meeting. The Chairman may extend the meeting or allow the meeting to continue for not more than 15 minutes beyond the appointed ending time of the meeting, provided that the meeting venue is available. [HR 24A(a)]

4.11Further extension of the meeting is subject to the conditions detailed in paragraphs 4.57 to 4.61 below.

Order of agenda items

4.12Items should be taken in the order in which they appear on the agenda. If there is a request for the order of an item to be varied, it is for the Chairman to decide whether the request should be acceded to. The Chairman may consult, if he considers it appropriate, members of the Bills Committee as well as representatives of the Administration and/or other parties concerned, such as deputations, before making his decision.

Privileges and immunities

4.13At meetings of the Council or its committees, the privileges and immunities provided by the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance (Cap. 382) are available to all Members, the Chief Executive and any public officer designated by the Chief Executive for the purpose of attending such meetings. A list of the public officers so designated is in Appendix III.

4.14Where discussion on an item is attended by persons who are not covered by the privileges and immunities provided under Cap. 382, e.g. deputations, the Chairman should remind them, at the beginning of the discussion, that when addressing the Bills Committee they do not have such protection and their written submissions are also not protected.

Order of speaking

4.15Members should register their intention to speak at a meeting by raising their hands. The Chairman should call upon Members to speak in turn, having regard to the order in which they have raised their hands.

4.16Where there are differences of opinion, the Chairman should, as far as possible, give each side an equal chance to express its views.

Pecuniary interest

4.17It is a Member's responsibility to disclose the nature of his/her pecuniary interest in a matter being considered by a Bills Committee to other people to judge, whether direct or indirect, if his/her views on the matter have been influenced by his/her interest. A Member should disclose the nature of his pecuniary interest at the beginning of his/her speech on that matter. He/she should not move any motion or amendment relating to a matter in which he/she has a pecuniary interest, whether direct or indirect, or speak on any such matter, except where he/she discloses the nature of that interest. [RoP 83A]

4.18A Member should not vote on any question in which he/she has a direct pecuniary interest, except where his/her interest is in common with the rest or a sector of the population of Hong Kong, or his/her vote is given on a matter of Government policy. [RoP 84(1)]

4.19For a pecuniary interest to be direct, it should be immediate and not merely of a remote or general character. As regards "indirect pecuniary interest", it is an interest not immediate and personal to a Member, but does have a certain relationship with the Member which would make a reasonable person to consider that such interest might have certain influence on the action or speech of the Member.

Voting

4.20Matters for the decision of a Bills Committee are decided by a majority of the members voting. Non-Bills Committee members do not have voting right in respect of the business of the Bills Committee. [RoP 76(8), HR 24(d)]

4.21Before a matter is voted upon at a meeting of a Bills Committee, a voting bell will be rung if the Chairman orders, on his own motion or upon the request of a member of the Bills Committee, that the members of the Bills Committee be notified of the voting. The Bills Committee will proceed to vote immediately after the bell has been rung for five minutes. However, if the meeting is held simultaneously with a Council meeting, the bell will not be rung. [HR 24(i)] [Procedural motion passed by the House Committee on 7 October 2011]

4.22Where no voting bell is provided for the venue where a Bills Committee meets or if the bell does not function or may not be rung, the Chairman should order the Clerk to arrange for members of the Bills Committee within the precincts of the Chamber to be notified of the voting. The voting will be held 10 minutes after the order has been made. [HR 24(j)] [Procedural motion passed by the House Committee on 7 October 2011]

4.23Voting by members at a meeting of a Bills Committee is by a show of hands.

4.24A question put to vote will be regarded as agreed to if more members voted in favour of it than those who voted against it. It is the normal practice to record the number of members who abstained from voting, but the number of abstentions is not counted for the purpose of determining the result of the vote.

4.25If a member wishes to claim a division of the votes, the member must make the request before the Chairman declares the result of the vote.

4.26When the Chairman orders a division, the Clerk will record the names of members who are in favour of the question put, those who are not in favour of the question put, and those who abstain from voting. The Chairman should then instruct the Clerk to read out the names of the members who are in favour of the question put, those who are not in favour of the question put, and those who abstain from voting. The Chairman should then declare the result of the vote. The number of abstentions is not counted for the purpose of determining the result of the vote, as detailed in paragraph 4.24 above.

Decisions

4.27The Chairman may instruct that a matter for the decision of a Bills Committee be considered by circulation of papers to its members. The matter will be deemed to be approved by the Bills Committee, if a majority of the members of the Bills Committee have signified approval, and no member has signified disapproval or has requested that the matter should be discussed at a meeting.

4.28The decisions of a Bills Committee should not be re-opened for discussion, unless with the permission of the Bills Committee. [HR 24(n)]

Voting right of Chairman

4.29Except in an election of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of a Bills Committee, the Chairman or any presiding member has an original vote but not a casting vote. [RoP 76(8) and (8B)]

4.30If the Chairman or the member presiding wishes to exercise his/her original vote on a matter before a Bills Committee, the vote must be exercised at the same time as other members of the Bills Committee exercise their votes; otherwise, the Chairman or the member presiding will be regarded as having given up his/her right to vote on the relevant matter. [RoP 79A(3)]

Conduct

Members

4.31The Chairman is responsible for maintaining order at meetings to ensure the business on the agenda is conducted properly and efficiently. His/her decision on a point of order shall be final. [RoP 44]

4.32Some of the rules in the Rules of Procedure which govern the order of Members at Council meetings are applicable to committee meetings, unless the Chairman of the committee decides otherwise. These rules are -

(a)a Member should not interrupt another Member who is speaking except to raise a point of order or to seek elucidation [RoP 39]

(b)a Member should restrict his/her observations to the subject under discussion and should not introduce matters irrelevant to that subject [RoP 41(1)]

(c)a Member should not make reference to a case pending in a court of law in such a way as, in the opinion of the Chairman, might prejudice that case [RoP 41(2)]

(d)a Member should not use offensive or insulting language about other Members [RoP 41(4)]

(e)a Member should not impute improper motives to another Member [RoP 41(5)]

(f)the name of the Chief Executive should not be used to influence the Council [RoP 41(6)]

(g)the conduct of the Chief Executive, a Member of the Executive Council or a Member of LegCo otherwise than in the performance of his/her official duties shall not be raised [RoP 41(7)]

(h)the conduct of judges and other persons performing judicial functions should not be raised [RoP 41(8)]

(i)all Members should enter or leave the meeting venue properly attired and with decorum; no Member should cross the floor of the meeting venue unnecessarily; Members should not read newspapers, books or other document except if the contents of such documents are related to the business of the Council; and while a Member is speaking all Members should be silent and should not make unseemly interruptions [RoP 42]

4.33The Chairman of a Bills Committee, after having called the attention of the Bills Committee to the conduct of a Member who persists in irrelevance or tedious repetition of his own or other Members' arguments in the debate, may direct him to discontinue his speech. [RoP 45(1)]

4.34The Chairman of a Bills Committee has the power to order a Member whose conduct is grossly disorderly to withdraw from a meeting. [RoP 45(2)]

4.35The Chairman of a Bills Committee may also adopt the following approaches in dealing with controversies concerning Members' conduct or points of order at meetings -

(a)remind the Member that his/her conduct is inappropriate;

(b)persuade the Member not to continue to behave in the manner which is the subject of the controversy;

(c)suspend the meeting to let the controversy die down, if necessary; and/or

(d)seek the view of the Bills Committee on how the controversy should be dealt with.

Use of offensive or insulting language by a Member

4.36In relation to paragraph 4.32(d) above, a list of expressions which have been ruled by the President and committee chairmen to be offensive and insulting about Members or public officers attending the relevant meeting or unparliamentary in the context in which the expressions were used are set out in Appendix IV. The list is not exhaustive and will be updated as and when new rulings are made. Expressions on the list may be deleted having regard to cultural changes and developments in society. Bills Committee Chairmen are invited to note that -

(a)whether an expression is offensive and insulting or unparliamentary depends on the context in which it is used;

(b)the Chairman of the Bills Committee may order the Member using such expression to withdraw the expression or stop using the expression; and

(c)the mere utterance of the expression at a meeting does not constitute grossly disorderly conduct. However, if the Member refuses to withdraw the expression or stop using the expression after he/she has been so ordered, such conduct may be regarded by the Chairman to be grossly disorderly. In such circumstances, the Bills Committee Chairman may exercise the power conferred under Rule 45(2) of the Rules of Procedure to order withdrawal of the Member, or adopt the approaches set out in paragraph 4.35 above.

Public

4.37If a member of the press or the public is behaving or is likely to behave in a disorderly manner, the Chairman may order the removal of the person from the meeting. [RoP 87, HR 24(s)]

Motion without notice

Substantive motions

4.38The procedure for the moving of a motion at Bills Committee meetings is not provided in the Rules of Procedure and House Rules. Bills Committees may follow the procedure provided for Panels in rule 22(p) of the House Rules.

4.39Under rule 22(p), if a motion is moved without notice by a member in relation to an agenda item, the Chairman should deal with it in accordance with the following steps -

(a)to decide whether the motion is directly related to the agenda item;

(b)to invite the members present to consider whether the motion should be dealt with, if the motion is ruled directly related to the agenda item; and

(c)to proceed to deal with the motion, if agreed to by a majority of the members voting. [HR 22(p)]

These steps are discussed in greater detail below.

4.40The Chairman should first decide whether the motion is directly related to an agenda item of that meeting. This is to ensure that members are aware of the possibility that a motion may be moved without notice on the subject matter of an agenda item. For this reason, a motion moved under "Any other business" or under a newly added discussion item under "Any other business" should not be ruled admissible by the Chairman.

4.41The proposed motion or any amendment to the motion should be presented to the Bills Committee in written form. [HR 22(p)]

4.42The Chairman or the Clerk should read out the wording of the motion and any amendment. If necessary, the Chairman should instruct the Clerk to arrange for the wording of the proposed motion and any amendment to be copied to members.

4.43If the Chairman rules that the motion is directly related to the agenda item, the Chairman should invite members present to consider whether the motion should be proceeded with. The motion will be proceeded with if agreed to by a majority of the members voting, and it should be dealt with under the agenda item to which it relates. The Chairman may, with the agreement of the Bills Committee, decide to deal with the motion later at the same meeting.

4.44No new motion, however, may be proposed during the period of extension or continuation of the meeting allowed by the Chairman or the period of extension agreed to by the Bills Committee (see paragraphs 4.56 to 4.61 below). [HR 24A(f)]

4.45As in the case of a motion to be dealt with during the original appointed meeting time, amendments may be proposed to a motion to be dealt with during the period of extension or continuation of the meeting allowed by the Chairman or the period of extension agreed to by the Bills Committee (see paragraphs 4.56 to 4.61 below).

4.46The Chairman should allow members to give views on the motion and any amendment before they are put to vote.

4.47After members have expressed their views, the amendment should be voted on first. If the amendment is voted down, the original motion should be put to vote.

4.48If there are two or more amendments, the Chairman should call on the members concerned to move their amendments in the order in which these amendments relate to the text of the motion, or in cases of doubt in the order decided by the Chairman.

4.49In the case of two amendments being inconsistent with each other, if the amendment which is voted on first is passed, the other amendment is deemed to be negatived.

4.50If there are two or more motions moved by members which have been ruled by the Chairman to be directly related to the agenda item and decided by the Bills Committee that they should be proceeded with, a joint discussion on the motions should be held.

4.51After members have given their views, the motions should be voted on in the order in which they were presented to the Bills Committee.

4.52In the case of two motions being inconsistent with each other, if the motion which is voted on first is passed, the other motion is deemed to be negatived.

4.53A Member should not move any motion or amendment relating to a matter in which he/she has a pecuniary interest, whether direct or indirect, or speak on any such matter, except where he/she discloses the nature of that interest. [RoP 83A]

Procedural motions

Motion to adjourn

4.54If during the discussion on a substantive motion, a member moves a procedural motion to adjourn the discussion, the procedural motion should be dealt with first. If the motion is supported, the Chairman will adjourn the discussion. If the motion is voted down, discussion on the substantive motion may continue.

Motion to take vote immediately

4.55If during the discussion on a substantive motion, a member moves a procedural motion that a vote on the substantive motion be taken immediately, the procedural motion should be dealt with first. If the motion is supported, a vote on the substantive motion will be taken immediately. If the motion is voted down, discussion on the substantive motion may continue.

Extension of meetings

4.56As detailed in paragraph 4.10 above, the Chairman may extend a meeting or allow a meeting of the Bills Committee to continue for not more than 15 minutes beyond the appointed ending time of the meeting, provided that the meeting venue is available. [HR 24A(a)]

4.57The meeting may be extended for more than 15 minutes beyond the appointed ending time or the period of extension/continuation of meeting referred to in paragraph 4.56 above, provided that -

(a)such a proposal is put forward during the original appointed meeting time or the period of extension/continuation of meeting referred to in paragraph 4.56 above;

(b)no member of the Bills Committee present at the meeting raises objection to the proposal; and

(c)the meeting venue is available.
[HR 24A(b)(i) to (iii)]

4.58Subject to the availability of the meeting venue, the period of extension referred to in paragraph 4.57 above may be extended for a further specified period, provided that such a proposal is put forward during that extended period and no member of the Bills Committee present at the meeting raises objection to the proposal. [HR 24A(c)]

4.59The Chairman shall ascertain whether any member of the Bills Committee present at the meeting raises objection to a proposal put forward under paragraph 4.57 or 4.58 above without debate or discussion. [HR 24A(d)]

4.60Where a motion has been proposed and agreed to be dealt with during the original appointed meeting time but has not been so dealt with, the motion may be dealt with during the period of extension or continuation of meeting allowed by the Chairman under paragraph 4.56 above, or the period of extension decided by the Bills Committee under paragraph 4.57 or 4.58 above. However, no new motion may be proposed during such period of extension or continuation of meeting referred to in paragraphs 4.56, 4.57 and 4.58 above. [HR 24A(e)and (f)]

4.61As in the case of a motion to be dealt with during the original appointed meeting time, amendments may be proposed to a motion to be dealt with under paragraph 4.60 above during the period of extension or continuation of meeting allowed by the Chairman under paragraph 4.56 above, or the period of extension decided by the Bills Committee under paragraph 4.57 or 4.58 above.

Language

4.62Members and other attendees of a meeting may speak in either Cantonese, Putonghua or English.

4.63The Chairman, whenever necessary, should remind Members, representatives of the Administration and deputations to refrain from using "cocktail" language at meetings so as to facilitate the work of the simultaneous interpreters. [HR 24(o)]


CHAPTER 5 VISITS

Paragraphs
Purpose5.1
Visits outside Hong Kong5.2 - 5.10
Visits outside Hong Kong in response to invitations5.11 - 5.20
Visits in Hong Kong5.21 - 5.23


Purpose

5.1Visits may be conducted by Bills Committees to enable Members to gain first-hand information on issues or organisations of interest to them in connection with Council business. [HR 29(a) and 29A(a)]

Visits outside Hong Kong

Permission of the House Committee

5.2Should a Bills Committee consider it necessary to undertake any activities outside Hong Kong under the name of the Bills Committee and/or funding for the visit is to be charged to individual Members' Overseas Duty Visit accounts, the prior permission of the House Committee is required. [HR 29A(a)]

5.3The Chairman presents a paper on the proposed visit to the House Committee. The paper is drafted by the Clerk.

Forming the delegation

5.4The broad guidelines for determining the size and membership of a delegation are -

(a)members of the Bills Committee should have priority in participating in the visit; and

(b)the delegation should be of a manageable size in order not to create difficulties in logistical arrangements.

5.5Non-Bills Committee members may join a duty visit outside Hong Kong with the consent of the Bills Committee.

5.6Members joining the visit should participate in the entire programme. [HR 29A(b)]

5.7The Chairman of the Bills Committee is normally the leader of the delegation. If the Chairman does not participate in the visit, the Deputy Chairman (if any) is normally the leader and if he/she also does not participate in the visit, the delegation may choose a leader and inform the Bills Committee of its choice.

Funding

5.8Visits outside Hong Kong are funded in accordance with the prevailing arrangements approved by The Legislative Council Commission.

Preparatory work

5.9Prior to the visit, the delegation should discuss the matters to be studied during the visit, the programme and the parties to be visited. Background briefs for the visit are prepared by the Clerk jointly with the Research Office. Questions are also drawn up by the Clerk in consultation with the delegation, to facilitate discussion with the parties to be visited.

Role of the Clerk

5.10There will be Secretariat staff, normally the Clerk, accompanying the delegation. The Clerk (or the staff concerned) is responsible for making the logistical arrangements and will draft the report of the visit in consultation with the delegation. The report, after clearance with the delegation, is presented to the Bills Committee and then, with suitable adaptation, to the House Committee.

Visits outside Hong Kong in response to invitations

5.11Any proposed visit outside Hong Kong extended to all Members of the Council in response to an invitation should first be discussed by the relevant committee(s) to determine if the visit is related to the business of the Council. The relevant committee(s) should convene a meeting to discuss the invitation and all other non-committee Members should be invited to attend the meeting. There should be transparency in the deliberation on logistical arrangements, including the Members to take part in the visit, the itinerary, matters to be studied and places to be visited. [HR 29A(c)]

5.12If the committee(s) concerned proposes to accept the invitation, all Members should be invited to indicate their interest in joining the proposed visit. The committee(s) should submit a paper on its proposal to the House Committee. If the House Committee agrees to accept the invitation, and a quota is prescribed on the number of participating Members by the relevant organisation, the House Committee should consider the composition of the delegation which should normally be broadly representative of the membership of the Council. [HR 29A(c), (d) and Appendix VI]

5.13If the invitation is extended to one committee only, the Chairman of the committee concerned should convene a meeting to discuss whether to accept the invitation and the details of the proposed visit. If the invitation is extended to members of more than one committee, the Chairmen of the committees concerned should discuss and agree as to whether a joint meeting should be convened or whether the committee having a prominent interest in the subject matter should convene a meeting and invite members of the other committee(s) to attend. The notice of meeting should be copied to all other non-committee Members who are welcome to attend the meeting and participate in the discussion, but they do not have any voting right in respect of the issues under discussion. At the meeting, members should discuss whether to accept the invitation and the details of the proposed visit. [HR 29A(c) and Appendix VI]

5.14Any views or requests made by Members at the meeting should be relayed to the relevant organisation for consideration, and Members should be informed of any feedback received. [Appendix VI to HR]

5.15If the invitation is not accepted, the relevant organisation should be so informed. [Appendix VI to HR]

5.16If the invited committee(s) considers that the proposed visit is related to Council business and agrees to accept the invitation, it should issue a circular to invite members to indicate whether they will join the visit. The committee(s) should submit a paper on the detailed arrangements of the visit to the House Committee. [HR 29A(d) and Appendix VI]

5.17Where the funding of a visit in response to an invitation is to be charged to individual Members' Overseas Duty Visit accounts, the House Committee's endorsement is required. [HR 29A(d) and Appendix VI]

5.18If the endorsement of the House Committee on the financial arrangement is not obtained, members may join the visit on a self-financing basis or claim reimbursement of the expenses incurred for the visit under the Operating Expenses Reimbursement system. [Appendix VI to HR]

5.19Papers submitted in the name of the Council to an inviting organisation should be circulated to all Members for comments.

5.20A report on a visit that has been approved by the House Committee should be submitted to the House Committee after the visit. [HR 29A(f) and Appendix VI]

Visits in Hong Kong

5.21The timing and programme of a visit are decided by the Chairman in consultation with members of the Bills Committee and the host organisations. The duration of a visit should be kept to within three hours as far as possible. [HR 29(b)]

5.22The Chairman, in consultation with other Members or the host organisation, determines whether a scheduled visit should be cancelled or postponed if the visiting party consists of less than three Members. [HR 29(d)]

5.23The Chairman and the host organisation are consulted as to whether the visit should be open to the media.


CHAPTER 6 SUBCOMMITTEES AND WORKING GROUPS

Paragraphs
Subcommittees6.1 - 6.7
Working groups6.8 - 6.12


Subcommittees

Appointment

6.1A Bills Committee may appoint a subcommittee to study a specific issue and report to the Bills Committee. Members of the subcommittee should be members of that Bills Committee. [RoP 76(4)]

Terms of reference

6.2The terms of reference of a subcommittee of a Bills Committee may be proposed by the subcommittee. They should be within the scope and purpose decided by the Bills Committee and should be submitted by the subcommittee to the Bills Committee for endorsement.

Voting and decisions

6.3All matters for the decision of a subcommittee of a Bills Committee are decided by the majority of the members of the subcommittee voting. [RoP 76(8)]

Voting right of Chairman

6.4Except in an election of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of a subcommittee, the Chairman or any presiding member has an original vote but not a casting vote. If the Chairman or the member presiding wishes to exercise his/her original vote on a matter before the subcommittee, the vote must be exercised at the same time as other members of the subcommittee exercise their votes; otherwise, the Chairman or the member presiding will be regarded as having given up his/her right to vote on the relevant matter. [RoP 76(8), (8B) and 79A(3)]

Procedures and practices

6.5The procedures and practices of the subcommittee of a Bills Committee are determined by that Bills Committee. The procedures and practices set out in rules 20 to 25 of the House Rules apply, where appropriate, to subcommittees of Bills Committee. [RoP 76(11), HR 26(f)]

Reporting to the Bills Committee

6.6When a subcommittee has completed its work, a report detailing its deliberations and recommendations/conclusions should be submitted to the Bills Committee. The Clerk to the subcommittee drafts the report and clears it with the Chairman (and members, if so requested) of the subcommittee before issuance.

Dissolution

6.7The subcommittee is dissolved upon the submission of the report, or when the Bills Committee so decides, or when the Bills Committee is dissolved.

Working groups

Formation

6.8A Bills Committee may form a working group for the purpose of assisting the Bills Committee in the performance of its functions, such as undertaking preparatory work to facilitate the consideration of a subject by the Bills Committee. Members of the working group should be members of that Bills Committee.

No privileges and immunities

6.9Meetings of a working group are informal and are held in closed sessions. The privileges and immunities provided under Cap. 382 are not available to members of the working group because it is not a LegCo committee. The procedures and practices of Bills Committees do not normally apply to the operation of a working group.

Terms of reference

6.10The terms of reference of a working group are determined by the Bills Committee. The terms of reference of a working group may be proposed by the working group. Such proposed terms of reference should be within the scope and purpose decided by the Bills Committee and submitted to the Bills Committee for endorsement.

Reporting to the Bills Committee

6.11The Clerk is responsible for drafting the report of the working group to report its deliberations and recommendations/conclusions to the Bills Committee. The Clerk clears the report with the Chairman (and members, if so requested) of the working group before issuance.

Dissolution

6.12The working group is dissolved upon the submission of the report, or when the Bills Committee so decides, or when the Bills Committee is dissolved.


CHAPTER 7 POWERS TO SUMMON WITNESSES

Paragraphs
Powers to summon witnesses7.1 - 7.5
Proposal to appoint a select committee7.6 - 7.8


Powers to summon witnesses

7.1A Bills Committee may exercise the powers conferred by section 9(1) of Cap. 382 to order any person to testify or give evidence or to produce any paper, book, record or document in his/her possession, if authorised by the Council to do so. [RoP 80(b)]

7.2If a Bills Committee member proposes that the Bills Committee should exercise the powers conferred by section 9(1) of Cap. 382 in connection with its work, a motion on the proposal should be put to the Bills Committee for consideration and decision. If the Bills Committee supports the motion, the House Committee should be informed of the Bills Committee's decision.

7.3The relevant motion in Council is normally moved by the Chairman of the Bills Committee.

7.4If a Bills Committee is authorised to exercise powers conferred by section 9(1) of Cap. 382, the Bills Committee should, similar to Panels, make a report to the Council after it has completed its consideration, although there is no such a requirement under the Rules of Procedure and House Rules.

7.5There is no precedent of a Bills Committee being authorised by the Council to exercise the powers conferred by section 9(1) of Cap. 382 in connection with its work.

Proposal to appoint a select committee

7.6If a Bills Committee decides to recommend the appointment of a select committee to conduct an enquiry and for the select committee to exercise the powers conferred by section 9(1) of Cap. 382 for the purpose of the enquiry, a paper should be presented to the House Committee. The Clerk prepares the paper and clears it with the Chairman before issuance.

7.7If the House Committee supports the proposal of the appointment of a select committee, the relevant motion in Council is normally moved by the Chairman of the House Committee or the Chairman of the subcommittee, if one is formed to undertake preparatory work for the appointment of the select committee.

7.8There is no precedent of a Bills Committee recommending the appointment of a select committee to conduct an enquiry.


CHAPTER 8 FOLLOW-UP WORK OF A MEETING

Paragraphs
Decisions8.1 - 8.4
Minutes8.5 - 8.9
Verbatim records8.10 - 8.11
Reports for the House Committee8.12 - 8.24
Reporting to the Legislative Council8.25 - 8.33
Addressing the Council8.34 - 8.37


Decisions

8.1Decisions made by the Bills Committee are followed up by the Clerk in consultation with the Chairman.

8.2Where a motion passed by the Bills Committee requires the Administration's follow-up action or response, the Clerk writes to inform the Bureau Secretary (or other public officers) concerned of the motion and to request him/her (or the public officer) to take follow-up action or provide a response to the motion, as appropriate.

8.3The Clerk also writes to the relevant bureau if there are other follow-up actions required of the Administration.

8.4The Clerk undertakes other necessary follow-up work according to the decisions of the Bills Committee including -

(a)seeking the House Committee's permission to undertake a visit outside Hong Kong (paragraphs 5.2 to 5.3 and 5.12 to 5.17 above refer);

(b)informing the House Committee of the Bills Committee's decision to seek the Council's authorisation to exercise the powers conferred by section 9(1) of Cap. 382 (paragraph 7.2 above refers); and

(c)recommending to the House Committee that a select committee be appointed (paragraph 7.6 above refers).

Minutes

8.5The Clerk to the Bills Committee prepares the minutes of the meetings of the Bills Committee. [HR 25(a)]

8.6The minutes of a Bills Committee meeting are presented in condensed form. The minutes should record the decisions of the Bills Committee, outstanding matters to be followed up at future meetings, undertakings made by the Administration, declarations of interest by members, and decisions of members to move Committee Stage amendments, etc. The format of the minutes should follow that agreed to by the House Committee on 5 October 2001.

8.7The audio records of the proceedings are indexed, and the index is annexed to the minutes to facilitate easy retrieval of such records. The format of the index should follow that agreed to by the House Committee on 14 June 2002.

8.8The minutes of a meeting with the Administration and other outside parties need not normally be cleared with them. The Chairman has the discretion to decide whether the draft minutes or any part of the draft minutes should be shown to those who have attended the meeting if, in the Chairman's view, it will facilitate the work of the Bills Committee. [HR 25(d) and (e)]

8.9The draft minutes are cleared with the Chairman before issuance to members for confirmation at a meeting or by circulation. [HR 25(f)]

Verbatim records

8.10Verbatim records are not normally prepared for a meeting, except where the Bills Committee is conducting an enquiry and has been authorised to summon witnesses to give evidence. [HR 25(b)]

8.11The Chairman may, with the agreement of the Bills Committee, determine that a verbatim record of a meeting be made. The request should be justified on the grounds of need. Such a request should be submitted to The Legislative Council Commission with justifications for record.

Reports for the House Committee

Report to seek an extension to work beyond three months

8.12Should there be the need for a Bills Committee to work beyond three months of its commencement, the Chairman should report to the House Committee to seek an extension of that period (see paragraph 8.24 below). [HR 21(h)]

Report of a Bills Committee on holding its work in abeyance

8.13If a Bills Committee decides to hold its work in abeyance, a report should be made to the House Committee. [HR 21(g) and (i)(iv)]

8.14The report, which may be a written or verbal report, should explain the reason(s) for the Bills Committee holding its work in abeyance.

Report upon completion of scrutiny work

8.15A Bills Committee should, as soon as it has completed consideration of the bill allocated to it, advise the House Committee in writing of the Bills Committee's deliberations and where appropriate, the majority and minority views, and whether or not the Bills Committee supports the bill. [RoP 76(9), HR 21(j)]

8.16The deliberations of a Bills Committee on a bill may be discussed by the House Committee for the purpose of informing Members in preparation for resumption of the Second Reading debate on the bill in Council. The deliberations are not binding on any Member, whether in the House Committee or the Council. [RoP 76(10)]

8.17A Bills Committee normally provides a written report on its deliberations to the House Committee before the deadline for giving notice to resume the Second Reading debate on the bill.

8.18Where there is urgency to resume the Second Reading debate on a bill and a written report cannot be provided to the House Committee before the deadline for giving notice of resumption, the Chairman may make a verbal report (see paragraph 8.24 below), and provide a written report at the earliest opportunity, e.g. at the following House Committee meeting.

8.19If there are new developments relating to the bill after the Bills Committee has issued its written report to the House Committee, the Chairman may make a verbal report on the new developments at the House Committee meeting. Consideration should be given to preparing an addendum to the report of the Bills Committee detailing the new developments (see paragraph 8.24 below).

8.20If a Bills Committee needs to hold further meeting(s) after presenting a written report to the House Committee, the Bills Committee should provide another written report to the House Committee after the Bills Committee has concluded its deliberations.

8.21The Clerk drafts the report to the House Committee. The report of a Bills Committee normally contains the following information -

(a)a brief description of the bill;

(b)the membership of the Bills Committee;

(c)the number of meetings held and visit(s) conducted, if any, as well as submissions received and deputations met, if any, by the Bills Committee;

(d)the deliberations of the Bills Committee, including issues and concerns raised in relation to the objects of the Bill, the majority and minority views of members, and the Administration's response to issues raised at meetings;

(e)the Administration's undertakings, if any;

(f)the respective Committee Stage amendments to be moved by the Administration, the Bills Committee and/or individual members, if any;

(g)the date of resumption of the Second Reading debate on the Bill, if available, and the view of the Bills Committee regarding the resumption date;

(h)other recommendations of the Bills Committee, if any;

(i)follow-up actions to be taken by the Administration or other committees of the Council, if any; and

(j)any other matters or points to which the House Committee's attention should be drawn.

Report on a bill which is to be withdrawn

8.22In the situation where the Bills Committee is to provide a report on a bill which is to be withdrawn by the public officer or Member in charge at the resumption of the Second Reading debate, suitable adaptations should be made to the topics detailed in paragraph 8.21 above. The reason(s) for the withdrawal should be explained in the report.

Comments by the Administration and Chairman

8.23The draft report of the Bills Committee is normally sent to the Administration for comments. It will then be cleared with the Chairman for issuance to the House Committee. The draft report will be circulated to members of the Bills Committee before issuance to the House Committee, if so requested by members.

Speaking note

8.24Where the Chairman is to make a verbal report to the House Committee (paragraphs 8.12, 8.14, 8.18 and 8.19 above refer), the Clerk prepares a speaking note for the Chairman. If necessary and subject to the agreement of the Chairman of the Bills Committee and that of the Chairman of the House Committee, the speaking note may be tabled at the House Committee meeting.

Reporting to the Legislative Council

Resumption of Second Reading debate

8.25After presenting its report to the House Committee, the Bills Committee shall then further report to the Council. A Bills Committee should table a report on its deliberations at the same Council meeting at which the resumption of the Second Reading debate on the bill takes place. [RoP 76(9), HR 21(j) and (l)]

8.26Irrespective of the number of reports made to the House Committee, the Bills Committee should present only one report to the Council for Members' easy reference.

8.27The report of the Bills Committee to the Council should be based on the report of the Bills Committee for the House Committee, as detailed in paragraph 8.21 above. However, there is no need to attach the relevant Committee Stage amendments, if any. The report should also contain the following information -

(a)the date on which the Bills Committee's report was presented to the House Committee; and

(b)any recommendations of the House Committee or points raised at the discussion of the House Committee on the report which would facilitate the Council's debate on the bill.

8.28The Chairman of a Bills Committee, when reporting to the Council on the work of the Bills Committee, addresses the Council at the resumption of the Second Reading debate on the bill. With the permission of the President, the Chairman may be the first Member to speak at the debate. [RoP 21(4) and 54(7), HR 21(k), (l), (m) and (o)]

8.29The Chairman may speak a second time during the same debate on his/her own views on the bill. [RoP 38(2)]

No indication of resumption of Second Reading debate

8.30In the situation where there is no indication that the Second Reading debate on a bill will resume within a reasonable time after completion of the Bills Committee's work, the Chairman should, if the Bills Committee so determines, table a written report in the Council and seek the President's permission to address the Council. [RoP 21(2), (3) and (6), HR 2 and 21(q)]

8.31The report should be based on the report of the Bills Committee to the House Committee, as detailed in paragraph 8.21 above. The report should also contain the following information -

(a)the date on which the Bills Committee's report was presented to the House Committee; and

(b)any relevant points raised at the discussion of the House Committee on the report.

Resumption of Second Reading debate on a bill for the purpose of withdrawing it

8.32Where the purpose of the resumption of the Second Reading debate on a bill is for making an announcement for the withdrawal of the bill (paragraphs 2.41 to 2.43 above refer), the Chairman of the Bills Committee may present a report of the Bills Committee at the Council meeting at which such an announcement is to be made, and may, with the permission of the President, address the Council on the report. [RoP 21(4A) and (6), HR 2 and 21(n)]

8.33The report should be based on the report of the Bills Committee to the House Committee, as detailed in paragraphs 8.21 and 8.22 above. The report should also contain the following information -

(a)the date on which the Bills Committee's report was presented to the House Committee; and

(b)any relevant points raised at the discussion of the House Committee on the report.

Addressing the Council

8.34The Clerk is responsible for drafting the address of the Chairman referred to in paragraphs 8.30 and 8.32 above. The speaking time limit of 15 minutes does not apply to such an address. However, the Chairman is required to provide an advance copy of the intended address to the President to enable the President to decide whether the address may give rise to a debate. [RoP 21(2), (3), (4A) and (6), RoP 36(6), HR 2, HR 21(n), (p) and (q)]

8.35The Clerk is also responsible for drafting the following speeches -

(a)a speech for the Chairman to speak on the report of the Bills Committee at the commencement of the resumption of the Second Reading debate on the bill referred to in paragraph 8.28 above; and

(b)speech(es) for the Chairman to move Committee Stage amendment(s), on behalf of the Bills Committee, to the bill.

8.36Regarding paragraph 8.35(a) above, the speaking time limit of 15 minutes does not apply to such a speech. If the Chairman wishes to state his/her own views on the bill in the same speech immediately after speaking on the report, the 15-minute time limit will apply to that part of the speech where he/she states his/her own views. [RoP 36(5) and (6), HR 21(k), (m) and (p)]

8.37Regarding paragraph 8.35(b) above, the speaking time limit of 15 minutes applies to such speeches, although there is no limit to the number of times a Member may speak during the Committee Stage. [RoP 36(5) and 38(1)(a)]



1In this Handbook, deputations include groups/organisations as well as individual members of the public who are interested in submitting their views to a Bills Committee on a certain subject.


Appendix I

Restrictions on moving of
Committee Stage amendments to bills

Committee Stage amendments proposed by the Administration, Bills Committees and individual members are subject to the ruling of the President on whether they may be moved.

2.Rule 57(4) of the Rules of Procedure provides that the following provisions shall apply to amendments relating to bills -

(a)an amendment must be relevant to the subject matter of the bill and to the subject matter of the clause to which it relates;

(b)an amendment must not be inconsistent with any clause already agreed to or with any previous decision of the Council upon the bill;

(c)an amendment must not be such as to make the clause which it proposes to amend unintelligible or ungrammatical;

(d)an amendment which is in the opinion of the President frivolous or meaningless may not be moved; and

(e)an amendment should be made to the text of the bill in each language, unless it is an amendment that clearly affects the text in one language only. An amendment which creates a conflict or discrepancy between the text in one language and the text in the other may not be moved.

3.Rule 57(5) of the Rules of Procedure provides that if an amendment refers to, or is not intelligible without, a subsequent amendment or schedule, notice of the subsequent amendment or schedule must be given before the first amendment is moved so as to make the series of amendments intelligible as a whole.

4.Rule 57(6) of the Rules of Procedure provides that a Member cannot propose an amendment, the object or effect of which may, in the opinion of the President, dispose of or charge any part of the revenue or other public moneys of Hong Kong, except where the Chief Executive consents in writing to the proposal.



Appendix II

Critical Dates for Consultation with the Chairman of the House Committee ("HC")
on Resumption of Second Reading Debate on Bills under Rule 54(5) of
the Rules of Procedure ("RoP") of the Legislative Council ("LegCo")

2018-2019 Session

(A)
Target LegCo
meeting where
Second Reading
debate is to be
resumed
24 Oct 2018 (Wed)
31 Oct 2018 (Wed)
14 Nov 2018 (Wed)
21 Nov 2018 (Wed)
28 Nov 2018 (Wed)
5 Dec 2018 (Wed)
12 Dec 2018 (Wed)
9 Jan 2019 (Wed)
16 Jan 2019 (Wed)
23 Jan 2019 (Wed)
30 Jan 2019 (Wed)
20 Feb 2019 (Wed)
20 Mar 2019 (Wed)
27 Mar 2019 (Wed)
3 Apr 2019 (Wed)
8 May 2019 (Wed)
15 May 2019 (Wed)
22 May 2019 (Wed)
29 May 2019 (Wed)
5 Jun 2019 (Wed)
12 Jun 2019 (Wed)
19 Jun 2019 (Wed)
26 Jun 2019 (Wed)
3 Jul 2019 (Wed)
10 Jul 2019 (Wed)

(B)
Date for Public
Officers to issue
consultation letter to
HC Chairman

(C)
Date of HC meeting
to consider Bills
Committee report

(D)
Date for HC
Chairman to give
signification

(E)
Deadline for Public
Officers to give notice
for resumption

2 Oct 2018 (Tue) 5 Oct 2018 (Fri) 6 Oct 2018 (Sat) *8 Oct 2018 (Mon)
15 Oct 2018 (Mon) 19 Oct 2018 (Fri) 20 Oct 2018 (Sat) #22 Oct 2018 (Mon)
30 Oct 2018 (Tue) 2 Nov 2018 (Fri) 3 Nov 2018 (Sat) #5 Nov 2018 (Mon)
30 Oct 2018 (Tue) 2 Nov 2018 (Fri) 3 Nov 2018 (Sat) *6 Nov 2018 (Tue)
13 Nov 2018 (Tue) 16 Nov 2018 (Fri) 17 Nov 2018 (Sat) #19 Nov 2018 (Mon)
20 Nov 2018 (Tue) 23 Nov 2018 (Fri) 24 Nov 2018 (Sat) #26 Nov 2018 (Mon)
27 Nov 2018 (Tue) 30 Nov 2018 (Fri) 1 Dec 2018 (Sat) #3 Dec 2018 (Mon)
11 Dec 2018 (Tue) 14 Dec 2018 (Fri) 15 Dec 2018 (Sat) *21 Dec 2018 (Fri)
31 Dec 2018 (Mon) 4 Jan 2019 (Fri) 5 Jan 2019 (Sat) #7 Jan 2019 (Mon)
8 Jan 2019 (Tue) 11 Jan 2019 (Fri) 12 Jan 2019 (Sat) #14 Jan 2019 (Mon)
15 Jan 2019 (Tue) 18 Jan 2019 (Fri) 19 Jan 2019 (Sat) #21 Jan 2019 (Mon)
22 Jan 2019 (Tue) 25 Jan 2019 (Fri) 26 Jan 2019 (Sat) *1 Feb 2019 (Fri)
26 Feb 2019 (Tue) 1 Mar 2019 (Fri) 2 Mar 2019 (Sat) *5 Mar 2019 (Tue)
12 Mar 2019 (Tue) 15 Mar 2019 (Fri) 16 Mar 2019 (Sat) #18 Mar 2019 (Mon)
19 Mar 2019 (Tue) 22 Mar 2019 (Fri) 23 Mar 2019 (Sat) #25 Mar 2019 (Mon)
9 Apr 2019 (Tue) 12 Apr 2019 (Fri) 13 Apr 2019 (Sat) *18 Apr 2019 (Thu)
23 Apr 2019 (Tue) 26 Apr 2019 (Fri) 26 Apr 2019 (Fri) *27 Apr 2019 (Sat)
29 Apr 2019 (Mon) 3 May 2019 (Fri) 4 May 2019 (Sat) *6 May 2019 (Mon)
14 May 2019 (Tue) 17 May 2019 (Fri) 18 May 2019 (Sat) #20 May 2019 (Mon)
21 May 2019 (Tue) 24 May 2019 (Fri) 25 May 2019 (Sat) #27 May 2019 (Mon)
21 May 2019 (Tue) 24 May 2019 (Fri) 25 May 2019 (Sat) *27 May 2019 (Mon)
28 May 2019 (Tue) 31 May 2019 (Fri) 1 Jun 2019 (Sat) *3 Jun 2019 (Mon)
11 Jun 2019 (Tue) 14 Jun 2019 (Fri) 15 Jun 2019 (Sat) #17 Jun 2019 (Mon)
11 Jun 2019 (Tue) 14 Jun 2019 (Fri) 15 Jun 2019 (Sat) *17 Jun 2019 (Mon)
18 Jun 2019 (Tue) 21 Jun 2019 (Fri) 22 Jun 2019 (Sat) *24 Jun 2019 (Mon)

*Notice of resumption of debate shall be given not less than 12 clear days before the day on which the debate is to be resumed (Rule 54(5)(d) of the RoP).

#Where resumption of debate is to take place 9 clear days or less after the HC meeting at which the bill is considered, the notice of resumption of debate shall be given no later than 2 clear days after that meeting (Rule 54(5)(e) of the RoP). In case HC is consulted at a meeting earlier than that stated in Column C, notice of resumption shall be given not less than 12 clear days before the target LegCo meeting under Rule 54(5)(d) of the RoP.



Appendix III

List of public officers designated by
the Chief Executive for the purpose of
attending meetings of the Legislative Council or its committees





Appendix IV

Expressions which have been ruled to be offensive
and insulting language about Members or public officers
attending the relevant meeting1Legend symbol denoting By virtue of Rule 10(2) of the Rules of Procedure ("RoP"), the scope of prohibition against the use of offensive and insulting language about Members under Rule 41(4) of RoP is expanded to cover the use of such language about public officers attending the meeting concerned for the relevant item of business. or unparliamentary in the context
in which the expressions were used

(as at 9 May 2019)

(a)Expressions which have been ruled to be offensive and insulting language about Members or public officers attending the relevant meeting1Legend symbol denoting By virtue of Rule 10(2) of the Rules of Procedure ("RoP"), the scope of prohibition against the use of offensive and insulting language about Members under Rule 41(4) of RoP is expanded to cover the use of such language about public officers attending the meeting concerned for the relevant item of business.

"as the saying goes, 'foul grass grows out of a foul ditch'. The Chinese Government had hand-picked the members of the Preparatory Committee, who then selected the 400 members of the Selection Committee. This same group of people will then nominate candidates for the Chief Executive."

13 November 19962Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Council meeting.

"You are all stupid. Who are you trying to fool?"

27 September 19972Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Council meeting.

"they have a sufficient number of rubber stamps here"

16 July 19992Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Council meeting.

Member A3Legend symbol denoting 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E', 'F' and 'G' represent the names of the Members concerned. "has acted impudently and shamelessly"

13 October 20042Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Council meeting.

Member B3Legend symbol denoting 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E', 'F' and 'G' represent the names of the Members concerned. "delivered his speech, he was so shameless as to insist that there were justifications"

16 March 20052Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Council meeting.

people like Member C3Legend symbol denoting 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E', 'F' and 'G' represent the names of the Members concerned. "among the 'dog class' are helping the tyrant in his evildoing……"

8 November 20062Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Council meeting.

"that is the two so-called proverbs I said yesterday- 'stumbling to death on the street' and……"

27 March 20094Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Finance Committee meeting.

"some Members of this Council sought to realize their personal desires under the banner of justice …… especially the Members representing the legal profession"

9 December 20092Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Council meeting.

"It is those 'castrati', like 'Eunuch LAM', Stephen LAM, who are obstructing constitutional development ……"

9 June 20102Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Council meeting.

"Lackey"

26 January 20112Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Council meeting.

Member D3Legend symbol denoting 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E', 'F' and 'G' represent the names of the Members concerned. has "kissed the wrong ass"

9 January 20132Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Council meeting.

Member E3Legend symbol denoting 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E', 'F' and 'G' represent the names of the Members concerned. was "like a dog running around, snapping at people"

7 May 20142Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Council meeting.

"Members of the pro-establishment camp were chickens"

25 November 20165Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant House Committee meeting.

"Do you know how many people have viewed, on the Internet, the clip of your style of deliberating politics like 'a shrew hurling abuse on the street' ?"

20 January 20174Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Finance Committee meeting.

"You are 'dickhead(s)', bullying us 'egghead(s)'."

2 May 20174Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Finance Committee meeting.

"Member F3Legend symbol denoting 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E', 'F' and 'G' represent the names of the Members concerned. as part of a 'flunkey'"

14 December 20172Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Council meeting.

"Member G3Legend symbol denoting 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E', 'F' and 'G' represent the names of the Members concerned. was 'low-down'"

3 May 20195Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant House Committee meeting.

"Member G3Legend symbol denoting 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E', 'F' and 'G' represent the names of the Members concerned. was 'despicable and low-down'"

3 May 20195Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant House Committee meeting.

(b)Expressions which have been ruled to be unparliamentary

"these two words '仆街' (stumbling to death on the street) are certainly not foul language, it is just that you twisted (The buzzer sounded) ……"

1 April 20092Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Council meeting.

"especially a so-called teacher of 'dog shit' law ……"6Legend symbol denoting The President stated at the Council meeting that such remarks were offensive and insulting and were inappropriate. However, as these remarks were not specifically about Members of this Council, he therefore could not rule that the remarks were in breach of Rule 41(4) of RoP.

13 January 20102Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Council meeting.

"The Chief Executive 'is lying'"

9 May 20192Legend symbol denoting Date of the relevant Council meeting.



1 By virtue of Rule 10(2) of the Rules of Procedure ("RoP"), the scope of prohibition against the use of offensive and insulting language about Members under Rule 41(4) of RoP is expanded to cover the use of such language about public officers attending the meeting concerned for the relevant item of business.
2 Date of the relevant Council meeting.
3 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E', 'F' and 'G' represent the names of the Members concerned.
4 Date of the relevant Finance Committee meeting.
5 Date of the relevant House Committee meeting.
6 The President stated at the Council meeting that such remarks were offensive and insulting and were inappropriate. However, as these remarks were not specifically about Members of this Council, he therefore could not rule that the remarks were in breach of Rule 41(4) of RoP.