Kramer Presents Five Bills

Minister for Justice, Bryan Kramer in Thursday’s (20 Jan) parliament sitting presented five bills for act for amendments. Among them, a Bill for an act to amend the Family Protection Act 2013.

The other Bills include:

  • Attorney General Act 1989
  • Claims By and Against the State Act 1996
  • Criminal Code Act
  • Wrongs (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act.

The Bill for an Act to amend the Family Protection Act 2013 addresses key areas of improvement noted by relevant entities in the referral process in assisting survivors of domestic violence, including law enforcement authorities.

The Bill also addresses increase in penalty provisions for domestic violence, while a new offence has been included in the current reform, which is aggravated domestic violence, the penalty for which is much higher than the penalty for domestic violence.

With this new provision, a person who commits domestic violence in a particular circumstance may be charged with aggravated domestic violence, it will not be a defence that the defendant has paid an amount of money or given any valuable consideration to the complainant. Simply put, the new bill disallows compensation for any survivor of domestic violence to be seen as settlement. 

In presenting the Bill, Minister Kramer emphasized that the state can only do so much and challenged leaders and members of communities to intervene and adopt better ways to address the issue of domestic violence and to look for more preventative measures.

“There are many facets of this issue that need to be critically investigated to arrest the problem. We need academia practitioners to be working closely to research and understand the underlying root of the problem in PNG context. We can legislate, increase penalties, include new solutions and law but it is not the only solution to addressing domestic violence. These are just bandages to the wound. There is a need for leadership and changing this vicious cycle of violence.”

East Sepik Province Governor, and Co-Chair of the Special Parliamentary Committee on Gender-Based Violence, Allan Bird, commended the Minister for Justice in getting the Bill into Parliament.

“So on behalf of the women and children, I am indeed very proud and very grateful that this house has seen fit to bring important amendments to these legislation so that our women and children can recognize that we do indeed care for the sufferings that they face at the hands of perpetrators who would otherwise get away,” said Governor Bird.

Marysila Kellerton