Following is the speech by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr David Lan, in moving the second reading of the Adaptation of Laws (No.23) Bill 1999 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):
I move the Second Reading of the Adaptation of Laws (No.23) Bill 1999.
The purpose of this Bill is to adapt 8 Ordinances and their subsidiary legislation that relate to family, children and discrimination, to bring them into conformity with the Basic Law and with Hong Kong's status as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.
Although the Hong Kong Reunification Ordinance and the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance have set out the principles on how to construe various expressions inconsistent with the Basic Law and with the status of Hong Kong as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, it is still unacceptable to retain such expressions in the laws of Hong Kong. Therefore, we must introduce this Bill to amend the relevant expressions.
Most of the proposed amendments are merely terminological changes. For example, references to the "the Colony" are replaced by "Hong Kong".
Other amendments include repealing paragraph 3 of Rule 2 of the Adoption Rules which gives a superior legal status to English version of forms and repealing the reference to "imperial enactment" in section 2 of the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance.
Like other adaptation of laws bills, the proposed adaptation amendments in this Bill, when passed and enacted, and subject to Article 12 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights, will take effect retrospectively as from the date of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The proposed amendments in this Bill would save the effort of making reference to the Hong Kong Reunification Ordinance and the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance. I earnestly request Members' support for this Bill.
Thank you, Madam President.
End/Wednesday, July 14, 1999