Laws To Create Solid Foundation, Says Attorney General

Attorney General Hon. Dennis Merchant

Attorney General Hon. Dennis Merchant
Photo By Erasmus Williams

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
September 17, 2009 (CUOPM)

The Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs has been involved in drafting laws that would facilitate the creation of a solid framework needed to improve trade opportunities and attract investment.

Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Dr. the Hon. Dennis Merchant said his ministry is also addressing the incidence of crime at the national level in terms of ensuring that appropriate laws are put in place to deal with the alarming incidence of crime.

“My Ministry continues to be involved in efforts of putting in place a solid legal framework aimed at combating crime and terrorism. I wish to restate what I said last year that crime, especially transnational crime, constitutes a major threat to democracy and the rule of law.  In that connection, we are continuing to make all efforts to deal with the contemporary problems in criminal law and to strengthen international co-operation in that area,” Dr. Merchant said at the Opening of the New Law Term on Tuesday.

He reflected on the functioning of the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs in relation to the judiciary, good governance and other related matters.

“In an effort to deal with the contemporary problems in criminal law, my Ministry did draft amending laws to the following Acts:  Anti ““ Terrorism Act; Criminal Law Amendment Act; Proceeds of Crime Act; Financial Intelligence Unit Act; Financial Services Commission Act; and Offences Against the Person Act,” said Dr. Merchant.

He listed several Bills that were drafted, tabled, debated and passed by the National Assembly. These include the Vehicles and Road Traffic (amendment) Act; the Noise Abatement Act; the Social Security (Amendment) Act; the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Saint Christopher and Nevis) (Amendment) Act; the Saint Christopher Tourism Authority (Licensing of Vendors) Act; the St. Kitts and Nevis Racing Commission Act; the Saint Christopher and Nevis (Mutual Exchange of Information on Taxation Matters) Act; the Insurance Act; the Saint Christopher Tourism Authority (Prescribed Areas) Act; the Solid Waste Management Act; the Saint Christopher National Trust Act; the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Act; the St. Peninsular Resort District (Planned Community) (Amendment) Act; the Development Control and Planning (Amendment) Act; and the National Assembly Elections (Amendment) Act.

Several Bills given a first reading in the National Assembly included the Electronic Transactions Bill;   the Electronic Crimes Bill;   the Protection of Employment (Amendment) Bill; and the Licensing and Business Occupations (Amendment) Bill.

The Attorney General disclosed that final arrangements have been made for the printing of the Revised Edition of the Laws of Saint Christopher and Nevis.

Dr. Merchant said that arrangements have been made to find a sustainable way to maintain the regular publication of accurate and accessible revised laws of the Federation, and by mid-next year a position to finalize the way forward.

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