New bills for National Assembly by year end

─ as Gov’t pushes Legislative Agenda

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall says his office has several legislations in the pipeline which will be laid in the National Assembly shortly. 

Among them is the Law Reform Commission Bill, which will amend the Law Reform Commission Act. While the previous administration established the Act, it never set up the Commission, the AG said. 

Further, he said the Act has some glaring deficiencies that must be corrected. 

“The Act, for example, does two things that are offensive. First, it resides in the President the power to appoint the entire Commission, consulting only with the minister. We feel that that is bad. A law reform commission represents the wider society, and therefore, consultations must be had with the private sector, labour movement and religious community among others,” the AG told DPI in a recent interview. 

Under the current law, only legally trained persons are allowed to be part of the Commission. AG Nandlall said that stance gives a “very myopic” view of what a law reform commission should be. He said the commission embraces different facets of society and should have included, an economist and a sociologist along with individuals from other academic disciplines.

The Attorney General’s Office will also lay a Small Business Bill before the National Assembly, to cover small businesses through financing and a regime of protection, as they move from stage to stage.

The Bail Bill, which is currently in circulation for consultation, will also be placed before the National Assembly. 

The Attorney General also noted the Hire Purchase Bill, which will give wider latitude and cover consumers who are making purchases on credit. 

The Minister of Legal Affairs revealed that an amendment to the Insurance Act is currently being crafted. The amended act will allow third parties in a motor vehicle accident to have greater coverage. 

“Right now, if you are a passenger in a minibus and it gets into an accident, you are not covered adequately. This intervention, in the form of an amendment, allows for greater coverage of third party,” he told DPI. 

In the meantime, AG Nandlall said various ministries are also working on their bills. Guyanese can look forward to the Natural Resources Commission Bill, and the Solid Waste Management Bill, currently being fine-tuned by their respective ministries. 

The Cabinet is currently constructing the 2021 legislative agenda. 

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