Government plans four new bills by summer
Phyllis Tsang and Gary Cheung
The government plans to introduce four new bills before the end of this legislative session, including one based on a recommendation from the Law Reform Commission on enduring power of attorney.
Enduring power of attorney is a legal instrument that allows a lawyer to act on behalf of a person who is no longer capable of handling their own affairs. Under the proposed changes, a doctor would no longer have to be present for an enduring power of attorney to be created.
The Law Reform Commission recommended the changes in a report published in March 2008. Public consultation on the proposal was completed in September 2009.
Civic Party lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah said this was the first legislation based on a recommendation from the Law Reform Commission since he was elected in 2004.
'The pace of the administration's implementation of the commission's recommendations is very disappointing,' he said. 'The government should implement other recommendations such as the commission's report on stalking, which was published in 2000.'
Since 1997, the Law Reform Commission has completed 27 reports, but the recommendations contained in 22 of those reports have yet to be implemented. Of the 56 reports completed since the establishment of the commission in 1980, only 27 have been implemented.
Apart from the bill on enduring power of attorney, a personal data (privacy) amendment bill will be introduced to enhance the protection of personal data.
A road traffic amendment bill will contain measures to improve the safety of public light buses and enhance road safety.
An amendment bill on electoral arrangements will make it easier to raise a petition relating to the results of an election.
The government will have introduced 17 new bills by the end of the legislative session this summer. A bill relating to the Inland Revenue has been withdrawn.
Since 1997, the Law Reform Commission has put forward 27 reports. This many have not yet been implemented: 22