Oaths And Declarations Ordinance


Published: 1997-07-01

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Cap 11 - OATHS AND DECLARATIONS ORDINANCE 1

Chapter: 11 OATHS AND DECLARATIONS ORDINANCE Gazette Number Version Date

Long title 123 of 1997 01/07/1997


To amend and consolidate the law relating to oaths and declarations and to provide for connected matters.
(Amended 123 of 1997 s. 2)


[28 April 1972]


(Originally 20 of 1972)

Part: I PRELIMINARY 30/06/1997




Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997


This Ordinance may be cited as the Oaths and Declarations Ordinance.

Section: 2 Interpretation L.N. 60 of 2005 30/06/2005


In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-
"commissioner" (監誓員) means a commissioner for oaths duly appointed by the Chief Justice under any enactment

in force in Hong Kong;
"notary" (公證人) has the same meaning as "notary public" in section 2(1) of the Legal Practitioners Ordinance (Cap

159); (Replaced 27 of 1998 s. 8)
"person acting judicially" (以司法人員身分行事的人) means a tribunal, commission or other person having by law

power to receive evidence on oath;
"principal officials" (主要官員) means the principal officials of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Government as set out in the Basic Law. (Added 123 of 1997 s. 3)

Part: II OATHS AND DECLARATIONS IN GENERAL 30/06/1997




Section: 3 Who may administer oaths 30/06/1997


A court and a person acting judicially may administer an oath to a witness who is lawfully called or voluntarily
comes before it or him.

[cf. 1851 c. 99 s. 16 U.K.]

Section: 4 (Repealed 35 of 1985 s. 27) 30/06/1997




Section: 5 Normal manner of administration of oaths 123 of 1997 01/07/1997


(1) An oath may be administered and taken in the following form and manner-
The person taking the oath shall hold the New Testament, or, in the case of a Jew, the Old Testament, in his

uplifted hand, and shall say or repeat after the officer administering the oath the words "I swear by Almighty
God that ", followed by the words of the oath prescribed by law. (Amended
123 of 1997 s. 4)
(2) The officer shall, unless the person about to take the oath objects thereto, or is physically incapable of so

taking the oath, administer the oath in the form and manner aforesaid:
Provided that, in the case of a person who is neither a Christian nor a Jew, the oath may be administered in any

manner which is appropriate to his religious belief.



Cap 11 - OATHS AND DECLARATIONS ORDINANCE 2

(3) In this section, "officer" (人員) means a person authorized to administer an oath.
[cf. 1909 c. 39 ss. 2 & 3 U.K.]


Section: 6 Validity of oath not affected by absence of religious belief 30/06/1997


If an oath has been duly administered and taken, the fact that the person to whom the oath was administered had,
at the time of taking the oath, no religious belief, shall not for any purpose affect the validity of the oath.

[cf. 1888 c. 46 s. 3 U.K.]

Section: 7 Affirmation in lieu of oath 123 of 1997 01/07/1997


(1) A person, upon objecting to being sworn, shall be permitted to make his affirmation instead of taking an
oath for any purpose for which an oath is required by law. [cf. 1888 c. 46 s. 1 U.K.]

(2) A person who is neither a Christian nor a Jew shall be permitted to make his affirmation instead of taking
an oath for any purpose for which an oath is required by law.

(3) An affirmation shall commence-
(a) "I, , solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and affirm", (Amended 123 of

1997 s. 5)
(b) (Repealed 123 of 1997 s. 5)

and then proceed with the words of the oath prescribed by law, omitting any words of imprecation or calling to
witness. [cf. 1888 c. 46 s. 2 U.K.]

(4) An affirmation in writing shall commence-
(a) "I, , of , solemnly and sincerely affirm", (Amended 123 of

1997 s. 5)
(b) (Repealed 123 of 1997 s. 5)

and end-
(i) "Affirmed at this day of 19 , Before me .".

(Amended 123 of 1997 s. 5) [cf. 1888 c. 46 s. 4 U.K.]
(ii) (Repealed 123 of 1997 s. 5)

(5) An affirmation shall be of the same force and effect as an oath in the usual form.
(6) Subsections (1), (3) and (4) shall apply in relation to a person to whom it is not reasonably practicable

without inconvenience or delay to administer an oath in the manner appropriate to his religious belief as it applies in
relation to a person objecting to being sworn. [cf. 1961 c. 21 s. 1 U.K.]

(7) A person who may be permitted under this section to make his affirmation may also be required to do so.
[cf. 1961 c. 21 s. 1 U.K.]

Section: 8 Interpretations of oaths and affirmations 30/06/1997


If a person taking an oath or making an affirmation is unfamiliar with the official language in which the oath or
affirmation is taken or made, the oath or affirmation shall be interpreted to him by a sworn interpreter.

(Amended 51 of 1995 s. 7)

Section: 9 Unlawful administration of oaths 123 of 1997 01/07/1997


(1) No person shall administer or receive an oath, affidavit or affirmation relating to any matter or thing in
respect of which that person has no jurisdiction by some enactment.

(2) Any person who wilfully contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on
conviction to a fine of $1000.

(3) Nothing in this section shall extend to an oath, affidavit or affirmation before a justice-
(a) relating to the maintenance of public order, or the prosecution, trial, or punishment of offences; or
(b) relating to any proceedings before the Legislative Council or before any committee thereof; or
(c) for the purpose of legal proceedings in any place outside Hong Kong; or (Amended 123 of 1997 s. 6)
(d) required by the law of any place outside Hong Kong to give validity to any document designed to be

used in that place. (Amended 123 of 1997 s. 6)



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(4) Nothing in this section shall extend to an oath, affidavit or affirmation before a notary required by the law
of any place outside Hong Kong to give validity to any document designed to be used in that place. (Amended 123 of
1997 s. 6)

[cf. 1835 c. 62 s. 13 U.K.]

Section: 10 Admissibility of notarial acts done before Chinese

diplomatic and consular officers
123 of 1997 01/07/1997



An oath, affidavit, affirmation and notarial act administered, sworn, affirmed, or done before a diplomatic or
consular officer of the People's Republic of China outside the People's Republic of China shall be as effectual as if
duly administered, sworn, affirmed, or done by or before any lawful authority in Hong Kong.

(Amended 123 of 1997 s. 7)
[cf. 1889 c. 10 s. 6(1) U.K.; 1891 c. 50 s. 2 U.K.]


Section: 11 Evidence for civil proceedings outside Hong Kong 123 of 1997 01/07/1997


A person appointed by a court or other judicial authority of a place outside Hong Kong shall have power in
Hong Kong to administer oaths or take affidavits for the purpose of taking evidence for use in proceedings, not being
criminal proceedings, carried on under the law of that place.

(Amended 123 of 1997 s. 8)
[cf. 1963 c. 27 s. 1 U.K.]


Part: III STATUTORY DECLARATIONS 30/06/1997




Section: 12 Taking and receiving declarations 21 of 1999 11/06/1999


A justice, notary, commissioner or other person authorized by law to administer an oath may take and receive
the declaration of any person made before him in the manner provided by section 14.

(Amended 21 of 1999 s. 26)
[cf. 1835 c. 62 s. 18 U.K.]


Section: 13 Manner of making declarations 30/06/1997


If by law a person is authorized or required to make a declaration or a statutory declaration, that declaration shall
be made and signed in the manner provided by section 14.

[cf. 1835 c. 62 s. 20 U.K.]

Section: 14 Form of declaration L.N. 312 of 1998 11/09/1998


(1) A declaration shall be in one of the forms set out in Schedule 1.
(2) If the declarant is unfamiliar with the official language in which the declaration is made, the declaration

shall be in the form set out in Part II of Schedule 1 and the interpreter shall first make a declaration or take an oath in
the form set out in Part III of Schedule 1. (Replaced 51 of 1995 s. 8)

(Amended 123 of 1997 s. 9; L.N. 312 of 1998)
[cf. 1835 c. 62 s. 18 U.K.]


Section: 15 Declaration in writing sufficient to prove execution of will

etc.
30/06/1997



An attesting witness to the execution of a will, deed or document, and any other competent person, may verify
and prove the signing, sealing, publication or delivery of the will, deed or document by a declaration made in the
manner provided by section 14.

[cf. 1835 c. 62 s. 16 U.K.]



Cap 11 - OATHS AND DECLARATIONS ORDINANCE 4


Part: IV PROMISSORY OATHS 30/06/1997




Section: 16 Forms of Oaths 123 of 1997 01/07/1997


The Oaths referred to in this Ordinance as-
(a) the Oath of the Chief Executive; (Replaced 123 of 1997 s. 10)
(b) the Oath of the Principal Officials; (Replaced 123 of 1997 s. 10)
(c) the Executive Council Oath; (Replaced 123 of 1997 s. 10)
(ca) (Repealed 123 of 1997 s. 10)
(d) the Legislative Council Oath; (Replaced 123 of 1997 s. 10)
(da) (Repealed 123 of 1997 s. 10)
(e) the Judicial Oath; (Replaced 123 of 1997 s. 10)
(f) the Oath of Fidelity; and (Added 123 of 1997 s. 10)
(g) the Oath of Secrecy, (Added 123 of 1997 s. 10)

shall be in the respective forms set out in Schedule 2.
(Amended 123 of 1997 s. 10)

[cf. 1868 c. 72 ss. 2, 3 & 4 U.K.]

Section: 16A Oath of the Chief Executive 123 of 1997 01/07/1997


(1) A person appointed or elected as the Chief Executive shall take the Oath of the Chief Executive before
entering upon any of the duties of his office.

(2) The Chief Executive shall take his oath before a representative of the Central People's Government or a
person authorized by the Central People's Government to administer the oath.

(Added 123 of 1997 s. 11)

Section: 16B Oath of the Principal Officials 123 of 1997 01/07/1997


(1) A person appointed as a principal official shall take the Oath of the Principal Officials as soon as possible
after his appointment.

(2) A principal official shall take his oath before a representative of the Central People's Government or a
person authorized by the Central People's Government to administer the oath.

(Added 123 of 1997 s. 11)

Section: 17 Oaths of judicial officers L.N. 312 of 1998 11/09/1998


Each of the judicial officers specified in Schedule 3 shall take the Judicial Oath, which shall be administered in
the manner specified in that Schedule as soon as possible after his appointment.

(Amended 123 of 1997 s. 12; L.N. 312 of 1998)
[cf. 1868 c. 72 s. 6 U.K.]


Section: 18 Oaths of Executive Councillors 123 of 1997 01/07/1997


(1) A member of the Executive Council shall take the Oath of Fidelity and the Executive Council Oath as soon
as possible after his appointment. (Amended 32 of 1986 s. 3)

(2) (Repealed 123 of 1997 s. 13)
(3) The Oaths taken by members of the Executive Council shall be administered by the Chief Executive, or

other member presiding.
(Amended 123 of 1997 s. 13)

[cf. 1868 c. 72 s. 5 U.K.]




Cap 11 - OATHS AND DECLARATIONS ORDINANCE 5

Section: 19 Oath of Legislative Councillors 123 of 1997 01/07/1997


A member of the Legislative Council shall, as soon as possible after the commencement of his term of office,
take the Legislative Council Oath which-

(a) if taken at the first sitting of the session of the Legislative Council immediately after a general election
of all members of the Council and before the election of the President of the Council, shall be
administered by the Clerk to the Council;

(b) if taken at any other sitting of the Council, shall be administered by the President of the Council or any
member acting in his place.

(Replaced 60 of 1995 s. 18. Amended 123 of 1997 s. 14)

Section: 20 Oaths of Clerk and Deputy Clerk to the Executive Council 10 of 2005 08/07/2005


The Clerk to the Executive Council and the Deputy Clerk to the Executive Council shall, as soon as possible
after appointment, each take the Oath of Secrecy, which shall be administered by the Director of the Chief Executive's
Office.

(Amended 14 of 1994 s. 24; 123 of 1997 s. 15; 21 of 1999 s. 27; 10 of 2005 s. 5)

Section: 21 Consequence of non-compliance 123 of 1997 01/07/1997


Any person who declines or neglects to take an oath duly requested which he is required to take by this Part,
shall- (Amended 123 of 1997 s. 16)

(a) if he has already entered on his office, vacate it, and
(b) if he has not entered on his office, be disqualified from entering on it.

[cf. 1868 c. 72 s. 7 U.K.]

Section: 22 When Oaths need not be repeated L.N. 312 of 1998 11/09/1998


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 27 of 1999 s. 3


(1A) A principal official is not required to take the Oath of the Principal Officials if he has taken it on a
previous appointment as a principal official. (Added 123 of 1997 s. 17)

(1) No judicial officer specified in Schedule 3 shall be required to take the Judicial Oath, if he has taken it upon
previous appointment to a judicial office specified in Schedule 3. (Amended 13 of 1980 s. 2; L.N. 312 of 1998)

(2) No member of the Executive Council shall be required to take the Executive Council Oath if he has taken-
(a) the Executive Council Oath upon previous appointment to the Executive Council. (Replaced 32 of

1986 s. 4)
(b) (Repealed 123 of 1997 s. 17)

(3) No member of the Executive Council shall be required to take-
(a) the Oath of Fidelity, if he has taken it upon previous appointment to the Council.
(b) (Repealed 123 of 1997 s. 17)

(3A) Subject to subsection (3B), no member of the Legislative Council shall be required to take the Legislative
Council Oath if he has taken-

(a) (Repealed 123 of 1997 s. 17)
(b) the Legislative Council Oath upon previous election to the Legislative Council. (Added 23 of 1985 s.

4. Amended 76 of 1991 s. 3; 60 of 1995 s. 19)
(3B) Where a general election of all members of the Legislative Council is held, a member who has previously

taken the Legislative Council Oath shall, if so required by the Rules of Procedure of the Legislative Council, again
take the Oath as required by those Rules of Procedure. (Added 76 of 1991 s. 3. Amended 60 of 1995 s. 19; 27 of 1999
s. 3)

(4) Neither the Clerk to the Executive Council nor the Deputy Clerk to the Executive Council shall be required
to take the Oath of Secrecy, if he has taken it upon previous appointment to either office. (Amended 14 of 1994 s. 24)

(Amended 123 of 1997 s. 17)
[cf. 1868 c. 72 s. 7 U.K.]



Cap 11 - OATHS AND DECLARATIONS ORDINANCE 6


Part: V GENERAL 30/06/1997




Section: 23 Use of English or Chinese 30/06/1997


An oath, affidavit, affirmation or declaration may be administered, sworn, affirmed, declared, made, taken or
received either in English or in Chinese at the option of the witness, deponent, affirmant, declarant or the person
taking an oath.

Schedule: 1 123 of 1997; 23

of 1998; 27 of
1999

01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 23 of 1998 s. 2; 27 of 1999 s. 3


(Amended 123 of 1997 s. 18)


PART I [section 14]



Declaration


I, A.B., of , solemnly and sincerely declare that [Insert facts.]


And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the Oaths and
Declarations Ordinance.


(Signed) A.B.


Declared at in Hong Kong this day

of 19


Before me,


[Signature and designation, i.e., Justice of the Peace/Notary
Public/Commissioner for Oaths.]

(Amended 123 of 1997 s. 18)


PART II [section 14]


Declaration by person who is unfamiliar with the English language or the Chinese language


I, A.B., of , solemnly and sincerely declare that [Insert facts.]

And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the Oaths and

Declarations Ordinance.


(Signed) A.B.


Declared at in Hong Kong this day of
19 , through the interpretation of [Insert name of interpreter] of [Insert address and occupation], the said
interpreter having been also first declared [or sworn, as the case may be] that he had truly, distinctly, and audibly
interpreted the contents of this document to the declarant, and that he would truly and faithfully interpret the



Cap 11 - OATHS AND DECLARATIONS ORDINANCE 7

declaration about to be administered to him.


Before me,


[Signature and designation, i.e., Justice of the Peace/Notary
Public/Commissioner for Oaths.]

(Part II amended 51 of 1995 s. 9; 123 of 1997 s. 18)


PART III [section 14]


Declaration or oath by interpreter


I, C.D., of , solemnly and sincerely declare* that I well
understand the official language in which this document is written and [state language in which the contents of this
document are interpreted] language and that I have truly, distinctly, and audibly interpreted the contents of this
document to the declarant [Insert name], and that I will truly and faithfully interpret the declaration about to be
administered to him.


(Signed) C.D.

Interpreter.


Declared at in Hong Kong this day of
19 .


Before me,


[Signature and designation, i.e., Justice of the Peace/Notary
Public/Commissioner for Oaths.]


*In case of an oath substitute "swear" for "solemnly and sincerely declare".

(Part III amended 51 of 1995 s. 9; 123 of 1997 s. 18; 23 of 1998 s. 2)
(Schedule 1 amended 27 of 1999 s. 3)


Schedule: 2 123 of 1997 01/07/1997


[sections 16, 16A, 16B,
17, 18, 19 & 20]


PART I


THE OATH OF THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE


I, _______________________, swear that, in the office of Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special

Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, I will uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region of the People's Republic of China and serve the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region conscientiously,
dutifully, in full accordance with the law, honestly and with integrity, and be held accountable to the Central People's
Government of the People's Republic of China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.


(name of person making the oath)


PART II


THE OATH OF THE PRINCIPAL OFFICIALS



Cap 11 - OATHS AND DECLARATIONS ORDINANCE 8


I swear that, in the office of _____________________________ of the Government of the Hong Kong Special

Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, I will uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region of the People's Republic of China and serve the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region conscientiously,
dutifully, in full accordance with the law, honestly and with integrity.


(name of person making the oath)


PART III


THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OATH


I swear that, being appointed to the Executive Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the

People's Republic of China, I will uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the
People's Republic of China, bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic
of China and serve the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region conscientiously, dutifully, in full accordance with
the law, honestly and with integrity.


(name of person making the oath)


PART IV


THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL OATH


I swear that, being a member of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the

People's Republic of China, I will uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the
People's Republic of China, bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic
of China and serve the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region conscientiously, dutifully, in full accordance with
the law, honestly and with integrity.


(name of person making the oath)


PART V


THE JUDICIAL OATH


I swear that, in the Office of a Judge/a judicial officer of the Judiciary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative

Region of the People's Republic of China, I will uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region of the People's Republic of China, bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the
People's Republic of China, serve the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region conscientiously, dutifully, in full
accordance with the law, honestly and with integrity, safeguard the law and administer justice without fear or favour,
self-interest or deceit.


(name of person making the oath)


PART VI


THE OATH OF FIDELITY


I swear that, being appointed to the Executive Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the

People's Republic of China, I will use my best endeavours to assist the Chief Executive in the long term interests of
Hong Kong as a whole; that I will not, except with the authority of the Chief Executive, reveal the agenda or
proceedings of the Executive Council, or any document communicated to me or any matter coming to my knowledge
in my capacity as a Member of the Executive Council; that I will not seek to make or assist others to make any



Cap 11 - OATHS AND DECLARATIONS ORDINANCE 9

personal gain through the exercise of my official duties and I will be bound by and be collectively accountable for the
decisions of the Executive Council.


(name of person making the oath)


PART VII


THE OATH OF SECRECY


I, _________________________, swear that, having been appointed Clerk to the Executive Council (or Deputy

Clerk to the Executive Council) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, I will not, except with the authority
of the Chief Executive, directly or indirectly reveal the business or proceedings of the Executive Council or the nature
or contents of any document communicated to me as Clerk to the Executive Council (or Deputy Clerk to the Executive
Council) or any matter coming to my knowledge in my capacity as Clerk to the Executive Council (or Deputy Clerk to
the Executive Council).


(name of person making the oath)

(Schedule 2 replaced 123 of 1997 s. 18)

Schedule: 3 L.N. 172 of 1999 05/07/1999


[section 17]
(Amended 123 of 1997 s. 18)


PART I


OATHS TO BE ADMINISTERED BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE


Chief Justice (Added 79 of 1995 s. 50)
Permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal (Added 79 of 1995 s. 50)
Non-permanent Hong Kong judge of the Court of Final Appeal (Added 79 of 1995 s. 50)
Judge of the Court of Final Appeal from another common law jurisdiction (Added 79 of 1995 s. 50)
Chief Judge (Added 123 of 1997 s. 18. Amended 27 of 1999 s. 3)
Justice of Appeal (Added 26 of 1997 s. 7)
Judge of the Court of First Instance (other than a recorder of the Court of First Instance appointed under section 6A of

the High Court Ordinance (Cap 4) or a deputy judge of the Court of First Instance appointed under section 10(1)
of that Ordinance). (Amended 27 of 1999 s. 3)


PART II


OATHS TO BE ADMINISTERED BY A JUDGE OF THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE


Recorder of the Court of First Instance
Deputy Judge of the Court of First Instance
District Judge
Deputy District Judge
Presiding Officer, Labour Tribunal
Magistrate
Adjudicator, Small Claims Tribunal
President, Lands Tribunal
Coroner
Adjudication Officer, Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board
Deputy Presiding Officer, Labour Tribunal (Added 21 of 1999 s. 20)
Deputy Magistrate (Added 21 of 1999 s. 20)
Deputy Adjudicator, Small Claims Tribunal (Added 21 of 1999 s. 20)



Cap 11 - OATHS AND DECLARATIONS ORDINANCE 10

Temporary Member, Lands Tribunal (Added 21 of 1999 s. 20)
Deputy Coroner (Added 21 of 1999 s. 20)


PART III


(Repealed 123 of 1997 s. 18)
(Schedule 3 replaced 80 of 1994 s. 11. Amended 123 of 1997 s. 18)

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