Press Release



LC: Committee stage amendments to Adaptation of Laws (No.16) Bill


Following is the speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Dr E K Yeoh, in moving the Committee Stage amendments to the Adaptation of Laws (No.16) Bill 1999 in the Legislative Council today (June 26):-

Madam President,

I move the amendments to Schedules 10, 11 and 13, as set out in the paper circularised to Members, be approved.

Section 1 of Schedule 10 of the Bill seeks to adapt a provision in the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance which, however, has been repealed by another piece of legislation with effect from 16 July 1999. As a result, the adaptation proposal in Section 1 of Schedule 10 is no longer necessary and the Section should therefore be repealed. Consequential textual amendment is made to Section 2 of the Schedule accordingly.

Section 6 of Schedule 11 and Section 8 of Schedule 13 seek to adapt "Crown" to "State" in two non-immunity provisions. The purpose of these two provisions is to put beyond doubt that the two relevant organizations are not servants or agents of the Crown and cannot enjoy the privileges of the Crown. The Bills Committee noted that the term "Government" has been used in similar provisions in other Ordinances. Members therefore advised that it was more appropriate to revise "Crown" to "Government" because there was no question that the two organizations could be regarded as part of the "State".

We appreciate the views of the Bills Committee. However, adapting "Crown" to "Government" in this exercise is inappropriate because it is beyond the scope of the Adaptation of Laws Programme.

We propose to revise the term "Crown" in the two provisions to "Government" by a separate legislative exercise in the coming session in 2000-2001. In the meantime, we propose to repeal from this Bill the adaptation proposals of the two non-immunity provisions in Schedules 11 and 13.

This Committee Stage Amendment is the agreement between the Administration and the Bills Committee after detailed discussion. I hope Members will support the Amendment.

Thank you, Madam President.

END/Monday, June 26, 2000