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Legal Update

Race Discrimination Ordinance: commencement of certain sections

10 October 2008
Mayer Brown JSM Legal Update
The Hong Kong Government has gazetted 3 October 2008 as the day on which certain sections of the Race Discrimination Ordinance ("RDO") are to come into operation.
Full Update
The sections that have been gazetted to come into operation empower the Equal Opportunities Commission ("EOC") to exercise its function under the RDO. They will enable the EOC to prepare the relevant code of practice to provide guidance on the application of the RDO. This approach is consistent with the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau's plan to implement the RDO in phases.
The Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau has said that the preparation of the code of practice "will be a consultative and interactive process with Government organisation, the private sector and a wider community.  The code will also be laid on the table of the Legislative Council (LegCo) and is subject to amendment by LegCo...After the initial phase of preparing the code, at a time when the community has been more fully informed of the various provisions, other sections of the Ordinance will be brought into force".
The other sections of the RDO that come into operation on 3 October 2008 relate to certain amendments made to the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, Disability Discrimination Ordinance and the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance.
The operative sections of the RDO which create liability for race discrimination have not yet come into operation and are not expected to do so for some time.
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