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THE LAW REFORM COMMISSION OF HONG KONG - page 349 / 360

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Annex 1

Draft Sections for Proposed Children’s Bill

Background

1.This Annex sets out some of the relevant sections from the three comparative statutes, the English Children Act 1989, the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and the Australian Family Law Act 1975 as amended by the Family Law Reform Act 1995.  Some draft sections for a proposed Children’s Bill for Hong Kong are set out.  The draft sections follow the chronological order of chapter 6.

Statutory checklist of factors

2.Section 1(3) of Children Act 1989 provides:

“In the circumstances mentioned in subsection (4), a court shall have regard in particular to:

(a)the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of his age and understanding);

(b)his physical, emotional and educational needs;

(c)the likely effect on him of any change in his circumstances;

(d)his age, sex, background and any characteristics of his which the court considers relevant;

(e)any harm which he has suffered or is at risk of suffering;

(f)how capable each of his parents, and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting his needs;

(g)the range of powers available to the court under this Act in the proceedings in question.”

3.Section 68F of the Family Law Act 1975 as amended by the Family Law Reform Act 1995 provides:1394

“68F.    (1) Subject to subsection (3), in determining what is in the child's best interests, the court must consider the matters set out in subsection (2).

(2)The court must consider:

(a)any wishes expressed by the child and any factors (such as the child's maturity or level of understanding) that the court thinks are

1394 All the other Australian sections referred to were amended by the 1995 Act.

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