Five Ordinances to be amended

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The Cabinet has decided to revise and amend five ordinances and introduce new Laws for Child Protection and Contempt of Court.

The Cabinet Papers for these have been submitted by Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms.

Revision of the Ordinance on Children and Youths

The Cabinet has granted approval for the Revision of the Ordinance on Children and Youths and to publish the draft Bill in the Government Gazette and submit it to the Parliament for approval.

The Convention on the Children’s Rights defines any individual below 18 years of age as a child. Accordingly, approval of the Cabinet of Ministers was granted, at their meeting held on the 16 September 2020, to revise the Ordinance on children and youth including the relevant provisions by adhering to the said convention. Accordingly, the clearance of the Attorney General has been granted to a draft Bill formulated by the Legal Draftsman.

Introduction of new laws on child protection and justice

The Cabinet has granted approval to the Introduction of new laws on child protection and justice and to instruct the Legal Draftsman to prepare the final draft Bill including the said proposals too to the preliminary draft Bill.

Approval of the Cabinet was granted at their meeting held on the 18 February 2015 for the formulation of the draft Bill on child protection (judicial security) to enable establishment of Courts that implement judicial authority for Court hearings in regard to children who require protection and security or trial against children violating the law and implement the judicial authority of different forms so that Courts could be established that could implement a different type of judicial authority. Accordingly, the preliminary draft Bill prepared by the Legal Draftsman has been studied by two specialist committees and further proposals have been furnished.

Revision of Prevention of Fraud Ordinance

The Cabinet has granted approval to the Revision of Prevention of Fraud Ordinance and to publish the draft Bill in the Government Gazette and to submit it to the Parliament for approval.

Considering the necessity to make certain incidental revisions even to the Prevention of Fraud Ordinance in concurrence with the revisions recommended to be performed to the Notaries Ordinance and the last Will ordinance, it has been decided at the meeting of Cabinet of Ministers held on the 18 October 2021 to instruct the Legal Draftsman to formulate a draft Bill for the requirement. Accordingly, the clearance of the Attorney General has been granted to a draft Bill formulated by the Legal Draftsman.

Amendments to the Powers of Attorney Ordinance

Cabinet approval has been granted on 19.07.2021 to introduce amendments to the Powers of Attorney Ordinance in order to minimise fraudulent activities using bogus Power of Attorney and the illegal use of Power of Attorney. The clearance of the Attorney General has been received for the Bill prepared by the Legal Draftsman and accordingly, to publish the said Bill in the Government Gazette and thereafter present the same in Parliament.

Introducing a new Law on Contempt of Court

The Cabinet approved Introducing a new law on Contempt of Court and to enact a new law based on the preliminary draft above and also to instruct the Legal Draftsman to draft a Bill.

As the offence of Contempt of Court has not been defined in Sri Lanka, there is no clear and uniform procedure for hearing and adjudicating such cases. As a result it is difficult to identify the limits of interference in the judicial process and the limits on the right to freedom of expression. It seems appropriate to reconsider this rule when considering cases related to Contempt of Court, that have been severely criticised recently. The Law Commission of Sri Lanka has studied the matter and prepared preliminary drafts with a view to introducing appropriate laws.

Introducing amendments to Notaries Ordinance

Cabinet approval has been granted on 19.07.2021 to introduce amendments to the Notaries Ordinance, to introduce new provisions to prevent illegal activities related to land fraud. The clearance of the Attorney General has been received for the Bill prepared based on the preliminary Bill prepared by the Notary Advisory Committee and the views of the Registrar General by the Legal Draftsman and accordingly, the proposal made by the Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms, to publish the said Bill in the Government Gazette and thereafter present it in Parliament for approval.

Amendments to the Registration of Documents Ordinance

Cabinet approval has been granted on 19.07.2021 to introduce amendments to the Registration of Documents Ordinance in order to prevent illegal activities related to land frauds. The clearance of the Attorney General has been received for the Bill prepared by the Legal Draftsman and accordingly, the proposal made by the Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms, to publish the said Bill in the Government Gazette and thereafter present the same in Parliament for approval, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. (TR)