Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau Wai-hing and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (April 6):
The Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance (Cap. 383) (HKBORO), enacted in June 1991 by the former Legislative Council, has been implemented for nearly 20 years. Regarding the implementation of HKBORO, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:
(a) since HKBORO came into operation, of the contents of the provisions in HKBORO which had been amended or repealed, the parties that put forward the proposals of amending or repealing such provisions, and the reasons for amending or repealing such provisions (set out each item by the year in which the provisions were amended or repealed);
(b) of the statutory provisions, policies, measures and professional codes which had been ruled by the courts to be in contravention of HKBORO in the past 20 years, and list in table form the name and case number of each case, as well as the dates on which the relevant judgments were delivered by the court; and
(c) of the statutory provisions, policies, measures and professional codes which were amended by the authorities in response to the court rulings in (b) (set out each of the cases); if amendments have not been made in response to some of the court rulings, of the reasons for that?
My reply to the three parts of the question is as follows.
(a) The provisions in the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance (Cap. 383) (HKBORO) that have been amended or repealed since the enactment of HKBORO, together with the relevant year, the initiating parties and the reasons for amending or repealing such provisions are listed at Annex A.
(b) and (c) Since the enactment of HKBORO, there are around 1,000 judgments (excluding oral judgments) which included references to HKBORO according to the Legal Reference System of the Judiciary. While an exhaustive examination of these judgments is not possible in the time available, a list of judgments since the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), in which the court has held the relevant statutory provisions, policies or measures (or part of them) of the Administration to be inconsistent with HKBORO is at Annex B, alongside with the follow-up measures taken by the Administration.
The list of cases comprises those cases relating to HKBORO in the Legal Reference System which were indicated as being reported in the Authorised Hong Kong Law Reports & Digest. In general, reported cases represent the more important cases.
Ends/Wednesday, April 6, 2011