Legislative Council

LC Paper No. LS 109/98-99

Paper for the House Committee Meeting of the Legislative Council on 26 February 1999

Legal Service Division Report on Adaptation of Laws (No. 4) Bill 1999

Object(s) of the Bill

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

LegCo Brief Reference

2. WB(CR) 10/32 issued by the Works Bureau in January 1999.

Date of First Reading

3. 10 February 1999.


4. A list of the Ordinances affected by the Bill and a summary of the proposed amendments in the Bill are at Annexes A and B respectively. Members may note that all of the Ordinances set out at Annex A deal with public works and related professions.

5. The Bill proposes to repeal two UK qualifications for application of plumber*s licence under Regulation 33(1) of the Waterworks Regulations (Cap. 102 sub. leg.). Persons who may apply for such licences will be limited to holders of the Craft Certificate in Plumbing and Pipefitting issued by the Vocational Training Council after 1987 and those who, in the opinion of the Water Authority, hold equivalent qualifications. The Legal Service Division is seeking clarification from the Administration whether the Authority considers the repealed qualifications falling within the category of equivalent qualifications. Otherwise, grandfather provisions, transitional provisions as well as provisions for renewal of licences may need to be made. We have also asked the Administration to explain how the proposed adaptation serves to bring the Regulations 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.

6. Except for the amendments to Regulation 33(1) of the Waterworks Regulations (Cap. 102 sub. leg.), the Bill does not seek to introduce any change in policy. The other amendments are essentially technical drafting changes to individual ordinances.

7. If enacted, the Bill (except otherwise provided) 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. The amendments to Regulation 33(1) of the Waterworks Regulations (Cap. 102 sub. leg.) shall come into operation at the beginning of the day on which the Bill is published as an Ordinance in the Gazette.

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. Subject to the reply of the Administration on the question of repealed qualifications mentioned in paragraph 5 above, it is recommended that resumption of Second Reading debate of this Bill should take place after the Bills Committee on the Adaptation of Laws Bill 1998 has made its report so that any general points on the adaptation of laws exercise which may be recommended by that Bills Committee could be considered in the context of this Bill.

Prepared by
Wong Sze-man, Bernice
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
9 February 1999


Annex A

List of Ordinances and subsidiary legislation affected by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 4) Bill 1999

Item No.Ordinances and subsidiary legislation
1.Waterworks Ordinance (Cap. 102) andWaterworks Regulations (Cap. 102 sub. leg.)
2.Public Lighting Ordinance (Cap. 105)
3. Sand Ordinance (Cap. 147)
4.Mining Ordinance (Cap. 285) andMining (General) Regulations (Cap. 285 sub. leg.)
5.Architects Registration Ordinance (Cap. 408)
6.Engineers Registration Ordinance (Cap. 409)
7.Surveyors Registration Ordinance (Cap. 417)
8.Planners Registration Ordinance (Cap. 418)
9.Builders* Lifts and Tower Working Platforms (Safety) Ordinance (Cap. 470)
10.Landscape Architects Registration Ordinance (Cap. 516)
11.The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers Ordinance (Cap. 1105)
12.The Hong Kong Institute of Architects Incorporation Ordinance (Cap. 1147)
13. The Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors Ordinance (Cap. 1148)
14.The Hong Kong Institute of Planners Incorporation Ordinance (Cap. 1153)
15.The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects Incorporation Ordinance (Cap. 1162)