Law society not consulted in recent laws passed

The PNG Law Society has revealed that a lot of laws that were recently passed in Parliament did not have any input from the society or its members.

President Peter Kuman revealed to the Special Parliamentary Committee on Public Sector Reform and Service Delivery hearing that the society does not play a role in the Law Reform Commission but any draft or proposed legislation that is circulated to them, is forwarded to its members for their input.

“A classic example is the Anti-Money Laundering legislation that got passed which affects the profession in a significant way. We were not invited by the Central Bank and the Law Reform Commission to comment on it,” Kuman told the committee.

Chairman of the Special Parliamentary Committee on Public Sector Reform and Service Delivery Elias Kapavore said the law (Anti-Money Laundering legislation) covers lawyers and their responsibility in terms of their conduct and they must be consulted.

“I think we’ve uncovered something that’s been lacking,” Kapavore added.

Parliamentary committee member Gary Juffa said this was an interesting revelation since the society has more than 1,000 lawyers, most of whom are Papua New Guineans.

“They owe their education to the public because most received their education by the public scholarship process so they owe it to have a duty to their country and to their people. I would assume in many countries, Law Societies actually engage with the public in proposing laws and law reforms,” Juffa added.

The PNG Law Society has 1,200 members.

 

 

Author: 
Sally Pokiton