Colonial laws to be reviewed

A total of 522 colonial laws are still existent in PNG and will be reviewed beginning next year.

The colonial laws are part of 1,861 laws which will be reviewed by the Constitutional Law Reform Commission.

CLRC Chairman, Dr Eric Kwa, says he has been instructed by the Government to carry out the review, including the colonial laws which are of British and Australian origin.

“So we are to transform 1, 389 laws, that’s from Independence up, and then 522 colonial laws, and we have been asked to develop new laws.”

According to, a website with more than 70,000 Links to Legal sites in over 180 countries, several PNG Acts have been picked out which have been in force since before 1975. They include:

  • Poison and Dangerous Substances Act of 1952
  • Insolvency Act 1951
  • Liquor Licensing Act 1963
  • Whaling Act 1974

These are among several other legislations which the Government has tasked the CLRC to review.

Dr Kwa, however, said no funding has been made available for the exercise and made a strong appeal to the Government for financial backing  .

In an earlier report by Loop PNG, Dr Kwa said the CLRC was the only constitutionally mandated office to carry out any review and drafting of laws in the country.

He said this when criticising the Government for engaging private law firms to draft and review laws and have then have them passed in Parliament without any input from the CLRC.

“Its like me trying to review all these laws and they’re paying private lawyers (and) private legal consultants K1 million, K2 million or K3 million to do it when I am supposed to do all these work.”

“That is my problem with the government. Don’t tell me that I have no money next year. There is money. You just have to spread it fairly,” said Kwa.

 Dr Kwa, however, said the commission will continue with the Government’s instruction.

Cedric Patjole