Bills Committee on Drug Dependent Persons Treatment and Rehabilitation Centres (Licensing) Bill

8 December, 2000

 

Ms. Doris Chan

Clerk to Bills Committee

Legislative Council Secretariat

Central

Hong Kong

Dear Ms. Chan,



Bills Committee on Drug Dependent Persons Treatment

and Rehabilitation Centres (Licensing) Bill

I refer to your letter of 22nd November 2000
which has been considered by the Bar Council.

You have asked us four questions, namely

  1. whether a probationer directed to undergo treatment as a term of his/her
    probation order could refuse to sign an agreement to give his/her consent
    to the enforcement of the rules set by a centre;
  2. whether the person responsible for the centre could refuse to admit
    the person concerned if he/she does not sign such an agreement;
  3. if the person responsible for the centre did refuse under (ii), whether
    such a refusal would contravene the Probation of Offenders Ordinance,
    Cap. 298;
  4. whether the rules restricting a drug dependent person’s rights and
    personal freedom in a treatment centre may contravene the human rights
    provisions of the Basic Law?

Our answer in order is as follows:

(i) Yes;

(ii) Yes;

(iii) No;

(iv) No, if the dependent agrees to the restrictions.

It is our current view that if a probationer refused
to comply with a condition of his/her probation order by either refusing
to attend the centre or refusing to consent to the centre’s enforcement
of rules would be that the probationer could be in breach of the probation
order. We do not see that there is any impact on the centre itself vis-à-vis
the Court. We are also of the view that a probationer, having consented
to the enforcement of the rules of the centre and, thereby, to his/her
own rights and freedom being curtailed, can subsequently refuse to consent
and discharge him/herself. If that happened that would have ramifications
for the probationer vis-à-vis the probation order and the Court
but not for the centre and the Court.

We hope this satisfactorily answers your queries.

 

Yours sincerely,

Ronny Tong, S.C.

Chairman

Hong Kong Bar Association