A statutory press council against intrusions of privacy may still be pursued despite widespread opposition. But Professor Raymond Wacks, chairman of the Law Reform Commission's privacy subcommittee which made the proposal, said other options such as self-regulation and a non-statutory monitoring body would be considered. Some 50 submissions have been received at the end of a consultation on setting up a statutory council which would indirectly be appointed by Tung Chee-hwa to punish newspapers for infringing privacy. The subcommittee's secretary, Godfrey Kan Ka-fai, who expects more submissions in the next few days, said he expected members to meet in January to discuss their final recommendations after all documents had been translated and compiled. Four journalism associations have suggested self-regulation while the proprietor-led Newspaper Society is pushing ahead with a non-statutory monitoring body as an alternative. Professor Wacks would not say which option was better, but agreed self-regulation was worth a try. 'Obviously they are keen to avoid a statutory press council and have proposed some form of self-regulation. This is something we have to study closely. 'So far I have not seen evidence that self-regulation is working, but there is no reason why it shouldn't be given a chance.' Although sex and violence were seen by the industry as more of a problem than privacy, he said the subcommittee had no power to recommend expanding the scope of the proposed council. Asked how likely it was the proposal would be withdrawn, the law professor at Hong Kong University said members were open-minded. While saying the law lacked safeguards against media intrusion, Professor Wacks admitted it was difficult to reconcile the opposition from the industry and the public interest. The subcommittee, Professor Wacks said, would seek to clarify misconceptions that the proposal was intended by the Government to restrict press freedom.