Commission still has teeth, says secretary

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 August, 2007, 12:00am

A leading figure in the Law Reform Commission says he has seen 'solid progress' in the government's implementation of his group's reports.

Since the handover, the commission has published 20 reports, but only four have resulted in legislation. Commission secretary Stuart Stoker said he was optimistic, however, that things were moving.

He said there were hopeful signs that the government would soon consider the outstanding reports published by the commission's subcommittee on privacy between 1994 and 2006 after discussions by the Legislative Council's home affairs panel in February.

The reports cover issues such as civil liability on invasion of privacy, stalking and media intrusion.

In addition, Mr Stoker said the domicile bill was being considered by legislators. The report recommends the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate children be abolished and that the domicile of married women no longer depends on that of their husbands.

He was also 'reliably informed' that the commission's recommendations on privity of contract would be tabled in Legco next year.

Dismissing criticism that the commission was no longer as powerful as it was before the handover, he said: 'No law reform commission gets all its reports implemented.

'A lot of what we do is complex, sometimes controversial. I wouldn't expect the government to instantly say: 'Yes, it's jolly good. We are going to adopt the commission's proposals.''