Slow law review attacked

Louis Won

THE Government yesterday called on China to speed up examination of proposals on the localisation of colonial laws to avoid a legal vacuum after 1997.

In a briefing at the Legislative Council yesterday, Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Michael Sze Cho-Cheung said the work of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group (JLG) had been slow because the Chinese were not looking at the British proposals quickly enough.

Beijing and London have to reach agreement through the liaison group on the localisation of laws before June 30, 1997.

If they do not, many laws may be incompatible with the Basic Law and would risk being invalidated.

Mr Sze said the British side had identified approximately 300 British enactments applying to Hong Kong.

He said only 30 of the 300 enactments had been localised and the Chinese side was examining proposals for dealing with 80 others enactments.

''I may add factually that many of these papers have been with the Chinese side for some considerable time - one of them for over 61/2 years,'' he said.