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THE LAW REFORM COMMISSION OF HONG KONG - page 129 / 360

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Delay

4.92Section 1(2) and 11 of the Children Act 1989 contain provisions to assist in preventing delay in proceedings relating to the residence or upbringing of children.  The Commission took the view that:

“While we have every sympathy with the objective, our view is that this issue, which is essentially procedural, is best dealt with at the level of rules of court.  We are aware that the courts already give priority to custody proceedings and that they make considerable efforts to dispose of such cases as expeditiously as possible.”587  

Therefore no statutory provision was needed.

Conclusion

4.93It can be seen that in some significant matters the Scottish Commission, and the legislation implementing their recommendations, have diverged considerably from the English Children Act 1989.  It is still too early to assess the impact of the Scottish legislation as Part I of the Act only came into force on 1 November 1996.588  The sub-committee were impressed with some of the Scottish provisions and have adopted some of these as proposals for consultation.  

587Ibid at 5.42.

588 Part 1 deals with parental rights, responsibilities and guardianship.

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