Legislative Council

LC Paper No. LS 199/98-99

Paper for the House Committee Meeting
of the Legislative Council
on 11 June 1999

Legal Service Division Report on
Adaptation of Laws (No. 15) Bill 1999

Object of the Bill

To adapt certain Ordinances and their subsidiary legislation to bring them into conformity with the Basic Law and with the status of Hong Kong as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.

LegCo Brief Reference

2. ESB CR 5/3231/91 issued by the Economic Services Bureau on 26 May 1999.

Date of First Reading

3. 9 June 1999.


4. This Bill adapts seven Ordinances relating to aviation and tourism and their subsidiary legislation. The Ordinances affected by these amendments are at Annex A and a summary of the proposed amendments is set out in Annex B. Explanation to some particular amendments are set out in paragraph 8 of the LegCo brief.

5. The Ordinances relating to aviation are quite technical and one of the regulations to be adapted is the Air Navigation (Hong Kong) Order 1995 (L.N. 561 of 1995). The preparation of the Chinese text of this Order is still underway and therefore the adaptation of the Chinese text is not necessary in this Bill. Article 46 of this Order requires every public transport aircraft registered in Hong Kong to have markings of terms such as "Exits" and "Emergency Exits" in English only. The Administration takes this opportunity to amend this section so that markings are to be in Chinese as well. The commencement of these relevant sections (section 65(b), (c), (d) and (e)(ii) of Schedule 6) shall come into operation on a day to be appointed by the Director of Civil Aviation by notice in the Gazette.

6. Articles 9(3)(a)(iii) and 11(6)(a)(iii) and Regulation 13 in Schedule 15 of the Air Navigation (Hong Kong) Order 1995 provide for automatic recognition of the professional qualifications of aircraft maintenance engineers granted by the United Kingdom for the purpose of issuing a certificate of maintenance review and a certificate of release to service. It is proposed that these provisions regarding such automatic recognition should be repealed. As confirmed by the Administration, the deletion of these provisions would not affect the operation of the industry. Under other provisions of Articles 9(3) and 11(6) of the Order, UK engineers may apply for a licence from the Civil Aviation Department or have their qualifications validated or approved. The proposed repeal is to come into operation on the day when the Bill to be enacted is published in the Gazette instead of on 1 July 1997 because it would not be reasonable to render those certificates previously issued by UK engineers invalid retrospectively.

7. Apart from the different commencement dates for the provisions as mentioned in paragraphs 5 and 6 above, the Bill, if enacted, will take retrospective effect from 1 July 1997 to ensure that there is consistency in the interpretation of all laws on and after 1 July 1997. The retrospective effect will not apply to provisions involving criminal offences or penalties.

Public Consultation

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

Consultation with the LegCo Panel

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


10. The Legal Service Division has sought clarifications from the Administration on some technical points. (Please see correspondences attached at Annex C). We note that some provisions relating to the military or national defence have not been adapted. The Administration has replied that these provisions will be dealt with in the Adaptation of Laws (the Garrison) Bill. Hence, there will be some other adaptations to these seven Ordinances. Subject to Members' views, Second Reading debate of the Bill may be resumed.


Prepared by

HO Ying-chu, Anita
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
8 June 1999


Annex A

List of Ordinances affected by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 15) Bill 1999

1.Hotel Proprietors Ordinance (Cap. 158)

2.Civil Aviation (Births, Deaths and Missing Persons) Ordinance (Cap. 173)

3.Hong Kong Tourist Association Ordinance (Cap. 302)

4.Civil Aviation (Aircraft Noise) Ordinance and its subsidiary legislation (Cap. 312)

5.Dangerous Goods (Consignment by Air) (Safety) Ordinance and its subsidiary legislation (Cap. 384)

6.Civil Aviation Ordinance and its subsidiary legislation (Cap. 448)

7.Airport Authority Ordinance (Cap. 483)

Annex B

Adaptation of Laws (No. 15) Bill 1999

Summary of the proposed amendments

(a) Amendments on terminological changes

(b) Deletions

1. In Schedule 6, section 11(b), the definition of "the Board of Trade" in Air Transport (Licensing of Air Services ) Regulations meaning " the Board of Trade of the United Kingdom" is deleted.

2. Schedule 6, section 12 deletes paragraphs (a) and (b) of Regulation 3 of the above-mentioned Regulation. Please refer to paragraph 8(d) of the LegCo brief for explanation.


1 Schedule 4, section 3(b) amends section 9(4) of the Civil Aviation (Aircraft Noise) Ordinance (Cap. 312). This section enables regulations made under the Ordinance to apply to aircraft in the service of the "Crown". According to paragraph 8(b) of the LegCo brief, the Administration explains that under section 7 of Schedule 9 to the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1), a reference to the "Crown" shall be construed as a reference to the "State" in a provision dealing with the scope of application of an Ordinance. The emission of noise from State aircraft will therefore be governed by this Ordinance.

2 Schedule 6, section 7 amends section 10(4) of the Civil Aviation Ordinance (Cap. 448). This section exempts aircraft from seizure on patents claim. Before adaptation, the section applies to aircraft as specified by Her Majesty by Order in Council. After adaptation, "The Central People's Government" is empowered to make such specification.

3 Schedule 6, section 11 amends the definition of "air services agreements" in the Air Transport (Licensing of Air Services) Regulations. In the definition, "air services agreements" includes "such agreements between the Government of Hong Kong and the Government of the United Kingdom". The Bill proposes to substitute these words with agreements between "the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Central People's Government".

4 According to the Administration, this adaptation is necessary because "Co-ordinated Universal Time" is used by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

5 Schedule 6, section 33(b) amends Article 3(1)(c) of the Air Navigation (Hong Kong ) Order 1995 (L.N. 561 of 1995) which concerns signing of agreement with another country to provide for rights of aircraft registered in that country to fly in or over Hong Kong. The HKSAR Government may negotiate and conclude new air service agreements. Accordingly, references to both the Central People's Government and the HKSAR Government are necessary.

Annex C

ESB CR 5/3231/91
2869 9209
2877 5029

By Fax No. 28684679
1 June 1999

Mr. Howard Lee
Principal Assistant Secretary
Economic Services Bureau
2/F Main and East Wings
Central Government Office
Hong Kong

Dear Mr. Lee,

Adaptation of Laws (No. 15) Bill 1999

I am scrutinizing the above Bill with a view to advising Members. I should be grateful if you could clarify the following points on Schedule 6 to the Bill, i.e. - Civil Aviation Ordinance (Cap. 448) and its subsidiary legislation.

  1. In section 2A(3)(b), (4) and (8) the term "the Secretary of State " has not been adapted. Also, in section 2A(4), the term "the Governor in Council" still appears.

  2. Section 13(1) reads: "Nothing in this Ordinance shall apply to aircraft belonging to or exclusively employed for the time being in the service of Her Majesty." Will the Administration adapt this section?

  3. For the Air Navigation (Hong Kong ) Order 1995 (L.N. 561 of 1995), it is still not yet inserted into the Loose-leaf of the Laws of Hong Kong and there is no Chinese version thereof. Adaptation in respect of the Chinese text is therefore not necessary in this exercise. When will there be a Chinese text of this Order?

  4. In section 87, should the reference be Article 86(1)(e)(i) instead of just Article 86(1)(i)?

  5. Section 90 of the Bill amends Article 93 of the Order. The heading of this Article reads as "Application of Order to British-controlled aircraft not registered in Hong Kong". Is this Article still applicable and that the Chief Executive can apply this Order to British-controlled aircraft? Furthermore, I note that in Article 92, there is the mentioning of "Commonwealth citizens or British protected persons" (which is also found in Article 3(3)). In Article 94, it states that this Order shall apply to the Crown and visiting forces. Both Articles have not been adapted. Does it mean that this Order still apply to aircraft in the service of Her Majesty after 1 July 1997?

  6. Article 96 states that there can be an appeal to Supreme Court. Is there any need for adaptation of the terms "Supreme Court" and "High Court of Justice"?

  7. Why is the Hong Kong Air Navigation (Fees) Regulations still found in the Revised Edition of the Laws of Hong Kong (App. I, p. N1) and not in the Loose-leaf of the Laws of Hong Kong? Is there a Chinese text thereof?

I shall be grateful if you can let me have a reply by 7 June 1999 to facilitate my preparation of a report to the House Committee.

Yours sincerely,

(Anita Ho)
Assistant Legal Adviser

c.c.Dept. of Justice (Attn: Miss. Betty Cheung, SGC)