Contents of Section

Chapter:

1 Title:INTERPRETATION AND GENERAL CLAUSES ORDINANCEGazette Number:
Section:3Heading:Interpretation of words and expressionsVersion Date:30/06/1997

Caution : This is a past version. See the current version for the latest position.


"act" (作為), when used with reference to an offence or civil wrong, includes a series of acts, an illegal omission and a series of illegal omissions;
"Administrative Appeals Board" (行政上訴委員會) means the Administrative Appeals Board established under the Administrative Appeals Board Ordinance (Cap 442); (Added 6 of 1994 s. 32)
"adult" (成人、成年人)* means a person who has attained the age of 18 years; (Amended 32 of 1990 s. 6)
"aircraft" (飛機、航空器) means any machine that can derive support in the atmosphere from the reactions of the air;
"alien" (外籍人士) means a person who is neither a Commonwealth citizen nor a British protected person nor a citizen of the Republic of Ireland; (Replaced 80 of 1982 s. 2)
"amend" (修訂) includes repeal, add to or vary and the doing of all or any of such things simultaneously or by the same Ordinance or instrument; (Amended 89 of 1993 s. 3)
"arrestable offence" (可逮捕的罪行) means an offence for which the sentence is fixed by law or for which a person may under or by virtue of any law be sentenced to imprisonment for a term exceeding 12 months, and an attempt to commit any such offence; (Added 30 of 1971 s. 2)
"Attorney General" (律政司) means the Attorney General of Hong Kong;
"British citizen" (英國公民) means a person who has the status of a British citizen under the British Nationality Act 1981 (1981 c. 61 U.K.); (Added 80 of 1982 s. 2)
"British Dependent Territories citizen" (英國屬土公民) means a person who has the status of a British Dependent Territories citizen under the British Nationality Act 1981 (1981 c. 61 U.K.); (Added 80 of 1982 s. 2)
"British Overseas citizen" (英國海外公民) means a person who has the status of a British Overseas citizen under the British Nationality Act 1981 (1981 c. 61 U.K.); (Added 80 of 1982 s. 2)
"British protected person" (受英國保護人士) means a person who has the status of a British protected person under the British Nationality Act 1981 (1981 c. 61 U.K.); (Added 80 of 1982 s. 2)
"British subject" (英籍人士) means a person who has the status of a British subject under the British Nationality Act 1981 (1981 c. 61 U.K.); (Replaced 80 of 1982 s. 2)
"Chief Justice" (首席大法官) means the Chief Justice of Hong Kong;
"Chief Secretary" (布政司) means the Chief Secretary of Hong Kong; (Replaced 39 of 1982 s. 2)
"Clerk to the Executive Council" (行政局秘書) includes any person appointed by the Governor to be Deputy Clerk to the Executive Council; (Replaced 14 of 1994 s. 24)
"Clerk to the Legislative Council" (立法局秘書) means the Secretary General of the Legislative Council Secretariat appointed under section 15(1) of The Legislative Council Commission Ordinance (Cap 443) and includes the Deputy Secretary General and any Assistant Secretary General of the Legislative Council Secretariat; (Added 14 of 1994 s. 24)
"Colony" (殖民地、香港) and "Hong Kong" (香港) mean the area of land and the area of Deep Bay and Mirs Bay lying within the boundaries specified in Schedule 2 and the territorial waters appertaining thereto;
"commencement" (生效日期), when used in relation to an Ordinance, or any part or provision thereof, means the date on which the Ordinance, part or provision came or comes into operation; (Replaced 39 of 1982 s. 2)
"committed for trial" (交付審判), when used in relation to any person, means-

        (a) committed to prison with a view to his being tried before the High Court; or
        (b) admitted to bail to appear and stand his trial before the High Court; (Amended 92 of 1975 s. 59; 56 of 1994 s. 9)
"common law" (普通法) means the common law of England;
"Commonwealth citizen" (英聯邦公民) means a person who has the status of a Commonwealth citizen under the British Nationality Act 1981 (1981 c. 61 U.K.); (Added 80 of 1982 s. 2)
"consul" (領事) and "consular officer" (領事館官員) mean any person, including the head of a consular post, recognized by the competent authority of the receiving state as entrusted in that capacity with the exercise of consular functions;
"contravene" (違反) in relation to any requirement or condition prescribed in any Ordinance or in any grant, permit, licence, lease or authority granted under or by virtue of any Ordinance includes a failure to comply with that requirement or condition;
"counsel" (大律師) means a person admitted to practise as counsel before the High Court; (Amended 92 of 1975 s. 59)
"court" (法院、法庭) means any court of the Colony of competent jurisdiction;
"Crown Agents" (英聯邦代辦) means the persons or body for the time being acting as Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations;
"Crown lease" (官契) means any lease granted by the Crown, any instrument whereby the term of a Crown lease may have been extended or the provisions thereof varied and any agreement for a Crown lease;
"District Board" (區議會) means a District Board established under the District Boards Ordinance (Cap 366); (Added 42 of 1981 s. 27)
"District Court" (地方法院) means the District Court of Hong Kong;
"District Judge" (地院法官、地方法院法官) means a judge of the District Court;
"document" (文件) means any publication and any matter written, expressed or described upon any substance by means of letters, characters, figures or marks, or by more than one of these means;
"Executive Council" (行政局) means the Executive Council of Hong Kong;
"export" (輸出、出口) means to take out or cause to be taken out of the Colony by air, land or water;
"Financial Secretary" (財政司) means the Financial Secretary of Hong Kong and the Secretary for the Treasury; (Amended L.N. 94 of 1989)
"financial year" (財政年度) means the period from 1 April in any year to 31 March in the immediately succeeding year, both days inclusive;
"full age" (成年)* means the age of 18 years; (Added 32 of 1990 s. 6)
"Gazette" (憲報) means-
        (a) the Hong Kong Government Gazette and any supplement thereto;
        (b) the Hong Kong (British Military Administration) Gazette published on or between 12 October 1945 and 1 May 1946; and
        (c) any Special Gazette or Gazette Extraordinary;
"general revenue" (政府一般收入) means the general revenue of Hong Kong; (Added 39 of 1982 s. 2)
"Government" (政府) means the Government of Hong Kong;
"Government Printer" (政府印務局) means the Government Printer of Hong Kong and any other printer authorized by or on behalf of the Governor to print any Ordinance or any other document of the Government;
"Governor" (總督) means-
        (a) the Governor of Hong Kong;
        (b) the Acting Governor; (Replaced 54 of 1969 s. 2)
        (c) to the extent to which a deputy to the Governor is authorized to perform on behalf of the Governor any functions of the Governor, the Deputy to the Governor; and
        (d) where the Governor of Hong Kong is not intended, the Governor-General, Governor, administrator or other officer for the time being administering the government of any British possession;
"Governor in Council", "Governor in Executive Council" (總督會同行政局) and "Governor with the advice of the Executive Council" (總督參照行政局意見) mean the Governor acting after consultation with the Executive Council in accordance with Royal Instructions but not necessarily in such Council assembled;
"harbour" (海港) means the waters of the Colony within the boundaries specified in Schedule 3;
"health officer" (衞生主任) means-
        (a) the Director, Deputy Director and Assistant Director of Health; (Amended L.N. 76 of 1989)
        (b) any person appointed as a health officer by the Governor; and
        (c) any person for the time being performing the duties of a health officer under any Ordinance;
"immovable property" (不動產) means-
        (a) land, whether covered by water or not;
        (b) any estate, right, interest or easement in or over any land; and
        (c) things attached to land or permanently fastened to anything attached to land;
"imperial enactment" (英國成文法則) means-
        (a) any Act of Parliament; (Amended 89 of 1993 s. 3)
        (b) any Order in Council;
        (c) any Letters Patent or Royal Instructions; and
        (d) any rule, regulation, proclamation, order, notice, rule of court, by-law or other instrument made under or by virtue of any Act, Order in Council, Letters Patent or Royal Instructions;
"import" (輸入、進口) means to bring or cause to be brought into the Colony by air, land or water;
"infant" (幼年人) and "minor" (未成年人)* mean a person who has not attained the age of 18 years; (Amended 32 of 1990 s. 6)
"instrument" (文書) includes any publication in the Gazette having legal effect;
"judge" (大法官) means the Chief Justice, a Justice of Appeal, a judge of the High Court of Justice, a recorder of the High Court of Justice and a deputy judge of the High Court of Justice; (Replaced 92 of 1975 s. 58. Amended 49 of 1983 s. 7; 80 of 1994 s. 10)
"justice" and "justice of the peace" (太平紳士) mean a person appointed to be a justice of the peace under the Justices of the Peace Ordinance (Cap 510); (Amended 47 of 1997 s. 10)
"Kowloon" (九龍) means the area specified in Schedule 4;
"Lands Tribunal" (土地審裁處) means the Lands Tribunal established under section 3 of the Lands Tribunal Ordinance (Cap 17); (Added 62 of 1974 s. 16)
"law" (法律、法例、法) means any law for the time being in force in, having legislative effect in, extending to, or applicable in, the Colony;
"Legislative Council" (立法局) means the Legislative Council of Hong Kong;
"magistrate" (裁判官) means any person appointed to be a permanent or special magistrate under the Magistrates Ordinance (Cap 227); (Replaced 47 of 1997 s. 10)
"master" (船長), when used with reference to a vessel, means the person (except a pilot) having for the time being command or charge of the vessel;
"medical practitioner" (醫生), "registered medical practitioner" (註冊醫生) and any words importing that a person is recognized by any Ordinance to be a medical practitioner in Hong Kong or a member of the medical profession in Hong Kong, mean a person duly registered as, or deemed to be registered as, a medical practitioner under the Medical Registration Ordinance (Cap 161);
"month" () means calendar month;
"movable property" (動產) means property of every description except immovable property;
"New Kowloon" (新九龍) means the area specified in Schedule 5;
"New Territories" (新界) means the territories leased to Great Britain by the Emperor of China under the Convention dated 9 June 1898;
"oath" (誓言) and "affidavit" (誓章) include, in the case of persons allowed or required by law to affirm instead of swearing, affirmation; and "swear" in the like case includes affirm;
"occupy" (佔用) includes use, inhabit, be in possession of or enjoy the land or premises to which the word relates, otherwise than as a mere servant or for the mere purpose of the care, custody or charge thereof;
"offence" (罪、罪行、罪項、犯法行為) includes any crime and any contravention or other breach of, or failure to comply with, any provision of any Ordinance, for which a penalty is provided; (Amended 50 of 1991 s. 4)
"official languages" (法定語文) means the English language and the Chinese language, and a reference to an "official language" shall be construed as a reference to the English language or the Chinese language as the case may be; (Added 18 of 1987 s. 2)
"Order in Council" (樞密院領令) means an order made by Her Majesty in Her Privy Council;
"Ordinance" (條例) and "enactment" (成文法則) mean-
        (a) any Ordinance enacted by the Governor by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council;
        (b) any proclamation made by the British Military Administration on or between 1 September 1945 and 1 May 1946; and
        (c) any subsidiary legislation made under any such Ordinance or proclamation;
"Parliament" and "Imperial Parliament" (國會) mean the Parliament of England, the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of the United Kingdom;
"per cent" (釐、百分之), when used in relation to a rate of interest payable in any circumstances, means the rate of interest specified payable in respect of a year, unless it is expressly provided that it is payable in respect of any other period;
"person" (人、人士、個人、人物、人選) includes any public body and any body of persons, corporate or unincorporate, and this definition shall apply notwithstanding that the word "person" occurs in a provision creating or relating to an offence or for the recovery of any fine or compensation;
"pier" (碼頭) includes every quay, wharf or jetty of whatever description connected to and having direct access to the shore and used or intended to be used for the purposes of a pier, quay, wharf or jetty;
"police officer" (警務人員) and terms or expression referring to ranks in the Royal Hong Kong Police Force shall bear the meanings respectively assigned to them by the Police Force Ordinance (Cap 232); (Amended 29 of 1969 s. 2)
"power" (權、權力) includes any privilege, authority and discretion;
"prescribed" (訂明) and "provided" (訂定), when used in or with reference to any Ordinance, mean prescribed or provided by that Ordinance or by subsidiary legislation made under that Ordinance;
"prison" (獄、監獄) means any place or building or portion of a building set apart for the purpose of a prison under any Ordinance relating to prisons;
"Privy Council" (樞密院) means the Lords and others for the time being of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council;
"property" (財產) includes-
        (a) money, goods, choses in action and land; and
        (b) obligations, easements and every description of estate, interest and profit, present or future, vested or contingent, arising out of or incident to property as defined in paragraph (a) of this definition;
"public" (公眾、公眾人士) includes any class of the public;
"publication" (刊物) means-
        (a) all written and printed matter;
        (b) any record, tape, wire, perforated roll, cinematograph film or other contrivance by means of which any words or ideas may be mechanically, electronically or electrically produced, reproduced, represented or conveyed;
        (c) anything whether of a similar nature to the foregoing or not, containing any visible representation, or by its form, shape, or in any manner, capable of producing, reproducing, representing or conveying words or ideas; and
        (d) every copy and reproduction of any publication as defined in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this definition;
"public body" (公共機構) includes-
        (a) the Executive Council;
        (b) the Legislative Council;
        (c) the Urban Council;
        (ca) any District Board; (Added 42 of 1981 s. 27)
        (cb) the Regional Council; (Added 39 of 1985 s. 60)
        (d) any other urban, rural or municipal council;
        (e) any department of the Government; and
        (f) any undertaking by or of the Government;
"public holiday" and "general holiday" (公眾假期、公眾假日) mean any day which is a general holiday by virtue of any provision of the Holidays Ordinance (Cap 149);
"public office" (公職) means any office or employment the holding or discharging of which by a person would constitute that person a public officer;
"public officer" (公職人員) and "public servant" (公務員) mean any person holding an office of emolument under the Crown in right of the Government of Hong Kong, whether such office be permanent or temporary;
"public place" (公眾地方、公眾場所) means-
        (a) any public street or pier, or any public garden; and
        (b) any theatre, place of public entertainment of any kind, or other place of general resort, admission to which is obtained by payment or to which the public have or are permitted to have access;
"public seal" (公印) means the public seal of Hong Kong;
"Regional Council" (區域市政局) means the Regional Council established by the Regional Council Ordinance (Cap 385); (Added 39 of 1985 s.60)
"registered" (登記、註冊), when used with reference to a document, means registered under the provisions of any law applicable to the registration of such a document;
"Registrar of the Supreme Court" (最高法院司法常務官) means the Registrar of the Supreme Court and any Deputy or Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court;
"repeal" (廢除) includes rescind, revoke, cancel or replace;
"rules of court" (法院規則), when used in relation to any court, means rules made by the authority having for the time being power to make rules and orders regulating the practice and procedure of such court;
"Secretary of State" (大臣、國務大臣) means one of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State for the time being;
"sell" (賣、售賣、出售) includes exchange and barter;
"ship" (船、船舶) includes every description of vessel used in navigation not exclusively propelled by oars;
"sign" (簽名、簽署) includes, in the case of a person unable to write, the affixing or making of a seal, mark, thumbprint or chop;
"solicitor" (律師) means a person admitted to practise as a solicitor before the High Court; (Amended 92 of 1975 s. 59)
"statutory declaration" (法定聲明), if made-
        (a) in Hong Kong, means a declaration under the repealed Statutory Declarations Ordinance or the Oaths and Declarations Ordinance (Cap 11); (Replaced 20 of 1972 s. 24)
        (b) in any part of the Commonwealth except the Colony, means a declaration made before a justice of the peace, notary public, or other person having authority therein under any legal provision for the time being in force in such part to take or receive a declaration;
        (c) in any other place, means a declaration before a British consul or person having authority under any Act for the time being in force to take or receive a declaration;
"street" (街、街道) and "road" (路、道路) mean-
        (a) any highway, street, road, bridge, thoroughfare, parade, square, court, alley, lane, bridle-way, footway, passage, tunnel; and (Amended 54 of 1969 s. 2)
        (b) any open place, whether situate on land leased from the Crown or not, used or frequented by the public or to which the public have or are permitted to have access;
"subsidiary legislation" (附屬法例) and "regulations" (規例) mean any proclamation, rule, regulation, order, resolution, notice, rule of court, by-law or other instrument made under or by virtue of any Ordinance and having legislative effect; (Amended L.N. 336 of 1990)
"summary conviction" (簡易程序定罪) means a summary conviction by a magistrate in accordance with the provisions of the Magistrates Ordinance (Cap 227);
"Supreme Court" (最高法院) means the Supreme Court of Hong Kong;
"surname" (姓、姓氏) includes a clan or family name;
"territorial waters" (領海) means such part of the sea adjacent to the coast of the Colony as is deemed by international law to constitute the territorial waters of Hong Kong;
"treaty" (條約) means a treaty, convention or agreement made with a foreign state, and any protocol or declaration attached thereto or independent thereof but referring thereto;
"triable summarily" (可循簡易程序審訊) means triable by a magistrate, in accordance with the provisions of the Magistrates Ordinance (Cap 227);
"trust territory" (託管地) means a territory administered by the Government of any part of Her Majesty's dominions under the trusteeship system of the United Nations;
"United Kingdom" (聯合王國) means-
        (a) the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; or
        (b) when used with reference to citizenship or nationality, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man; (Replaced 80 of 1982 s. 2)
"Urban Council" (市政局) means the Urban Council established by the Urban Council Ordinance (Cap 101);
"vessel" (船隻) means any ship or boat and any description of vessel used in navigation;
"Victoria" (維多利亞) means the area within the boundaries specified in Schedule 1; (Amended 89 of 1993 s. 3)
"waters of the Colony" (殖民地水域、香港水域), "waters of Hong Kong" (香港水域) and "Colonial waters" (香港水域、殖民地水域) mean- (Amended 39 of 1982 s. 2)
        (a) all waters, whether navigable or not, included in the Colony; and
        (b) territorial waters;
"weekday" and "week-day" (周日) mean any day other than a Sunday; (Added 68 of 1995 s. 15)
"words" (文字語言文字) includes figures and symbols;
"writing" (書寫) and "printing" (印刷) include writing, printing, lithography, photography, typewriting and any other mode of representing words in a visible form;
"year" () means a year according to the Gregorian calendar;
"years of age" (歲、年歲) and words of a like meaning, when used with reference to the age of any person, mean years of age according to the English reckoning of ages.
(Amended 89 of 1993 s. 3)
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* See also s. 6 of 32 of 1990.