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Speech by Mrs Rita Lau, Acting Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting in the Legislative Council
"To move the Second Reading of the Adaptation of Laws (No. 18) Bill 1999"

23 June 1999

Madam President,

I move that the Adaptation of laws (No. 18) Bill 1999 be read the second time.

2. This Bill seeks to make terminological amendments to several ordinances under the policy purview of the Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau, with a view to bringing the ordinances into conformity with the Basic Law and with Hong Kong's status as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. These ordinances are the Television Ordinance, the Telephone Ordinance, the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance, the Broadcasting Authority Ordinance, the Film Censorship Ordinance and the Outer Space Ordinance.

3. The Hong Kong Reunification Ordinance has provided, inter alia, for the inclusion of Schedule 8 in the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance which sets out the principles for interpreting laws that continue to remain as the laws of the HKSAR and brings the laws of the HKSAR into conformity with the Basic Law and with Hong Kong's status as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. We, however, consider it unacceptable to retain terminologies which are inconsistent with the Basic Law in our statute books after the Reunification. The purpose of this Bill is to bring about the necessary terminological amendments.

4. The Bill also provides that, subject to Article 12 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance, the adaptations when passed into law, shall take effect retrospectively, as from the date of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

5. Madam President, in addition to bringing the six ordinances which I have mentioned into conformity with the Basic Law and with Hong Kong's status as a Special Administrative Region, this Bill will also incorporate, where applicable, the provisions of the Hong Kong Reunification Ordinance and the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance into the six ordinances. This will obviate the need for making cross-references to the Hong Kong Reunification Ordinance and the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance. I therefore commend it to this Council for early passage into law.

Thank you.