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HONG KONG BILL OF RIGHTS

    An Ordinance to provide for the incorporation into the law of Hong Kong of provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as applied to Hong Kong; and for ancillary and connected matters.

    [8 June 1991]

    PART I

    PRELIMINARY

    1. Short title

    This Ordinance may be cited as the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance.

    2. Interpretation

    (1) In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires -

    article" means an article of the Bill of Rights;

    "Bill of Rights" (人權法案) means the Hong Kong bill of Rights set out in Part II;

    "commencement date" (生效日期) means the date on which this Ordinance comes into operation;

    "legislation" (法例) means legislation that can be amended by an Ordinance;

    "pre-existing legislation" (先前法例) means legislation enacted before the commencement date.

    (2) The Bill of Rights is subject to Part III.

    (3) In interpreting and applying this Ordinance, regard shall be had to the fact that the purpose of this Ordinance is to provide for the incorporation into the law of Hong Kong of provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as applied to Hong Kong, and for ancillary and connected matters.

    (4) Nothing in this Ordinance shall be interpreted as implying for the Government or any authority, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms recognized in the Bill of Rights or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the Bill. [cf. ICCPR Art.5.1]

    (5) There shall be no restriction upon or derogation from any of the fundamental human rights recognized or existing in Hong Kong pursuant to law, conventions, regulations or custom on the pretext that the Bill of Rights does not recognize such rights or that it recognizes them to a lesser extent. [cf.ICCPR Art.5.2]

    (6) A heading to any article does not have any legislative effect and does not in any way vary, limit or extend the meaning of the article.

    3. Effect on pre-existing legislation

    (1) All pre-existing legislation that admits of a construction consistent with this Ordinance shall be given such a construction.

    (2) All pre-existing legislation that does not admit of a construction consistent with this Ordinance is, to the extent of the inconsistency, repealed.

    4. Interpretation of subsequent legislation

    All legislation enacted on or after the commencement date shall, to the extent that it admits of such a construction, be construed so as to be consistent with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as applied to Hong Kong.

    5. Public emergencies

    (1) In time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which is officially proclaimed, measures may be taken derogating from the Bill of Rights to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, but these measures shall be taken in accordance with law.

    (2) No measure shall be taken under subsection (1) that -

    (a) is inconsistent with any obligation under international law that applies to Hong Kong (other than an obligation under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights);

    (b) involves discrimination solely on the ground of race, colour, sex, language, religion or social origin, or

    (c) derogates from articles 2, 3, 4(1) and (2), 7, 12, 13, and 15.

    [cf.ICCPR Art.4]

    6. Remedies for contravention of Bill of Rights

    (1) A court or tribunal -

    (a) in proceedings within its jurisdiction in an action for breach of this Ordinance; and

    (b) in other proceedings within its jurisdiction in which a violation or threatened violation of the Bill of Rights is relevant,

    may grant such remedy or relief, or make such order, in respect of such a breach, violation or threatened violation as it has power to grant or make n those proceedings and as it considers appropriate and just in the circumstances.

    (2) No proceedings shall be held to be outside the jurisdiction of any court or tribunal on the ground that they relate to the Bill of Rights.

    7. Binding effect of Ordinance

    (1) This Ordinance binds only -

    (a) the Government and all public authorities; and

    (b) any person acting on behalf of the Government or a public authority.

    (2) In this section -

    "person" ( ) includes any body of persons, corporate or unincorporate.