Constitutional Law Reform Commission (CLRC)

PM presented Organic Law Review on N&LLG Elections

The report is based on the constitutional directive of the Governor-General to review the Provincial and Local Level Governments Elections.

The review was established in 2018 by the O’Neil-led government directing the CLRC to review the Organic Law and propose legislative reforms aimed at improving the way elections are run in the country.

The review is to ensure that the elections are free and fair where the people are given absolute guarantee of freedom to choose leaders through voting.

377 Colonial Laws in PNG

Chairman of the Constitutional Law Reform Commission (CLRC). Dr. Eric Kwa, said they have identified them and will be reviewing all colonial laws.

The Civil Registry and Identification Act of 1963 is one of them to be reviewed and now the regional consultation taking place.

Dr. Kwa said like many other the Civil Registry and Identification Act of 1963 and the other 376 are colonial laws based on the context of Australia and do not reflect our own society.

The reviews aim to contextualize them to suit PNG.

CLRC proposes Civil & Identity Registration Independence

CLRC Secretary, Dr Eric Kwa, says this is ensuring the institution is given the prominence to collect the necessary data on the country births and deaths.

Dr Kwa said this during the opening of the Southern Region Consultation Workshop on the Civil & Identity Registration Act.

The Secretary said the current Civil Identify and Registration Act is a colonial law which they have reviewed and contextualized to suit PNG.

He added the CLRC is also pushing to have the institution independent so that it can be effective.

Law to protect SMEs vying for projects

The proposed law states that all provincial contracts worth K10 million or less must be reserved for Papua New Guinea businesses.

Any project over K10 million is an open market for foreign owned companies and PNG SMEs or companies.

The Constitutional Law Reform Commission is pushing for the changes in the SME Policy in a bid to legally protect and boost the SME sector in PNG.

There is also a push to introduce a legal framework for Papua New Guineans to get engaged in and operate franchises of international brands.

Buying of customary land is now illegal

CLRC Chairman, Dr Eric Kwa, says amendments to the Land Act and the Land Registration Act forbid the purchase of customary land.

In Port Moresby, the expensive real estate market and the potential business opportunities in the capital has brought a dramatic increase in customary land being sold, often cheaply, by landowners.

Dr Kwa says this practice is illegal and is calling on landowners, particularly the Motu and Koitabuans, to register their land and open it up in an appropriate manner for business.

Colonial laws to be reviewed

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.”

Amend constitution before raising election fees: Kwa

He said whatever decision is made by Cabinet is not automatically becomes a law.

Dr Kwa said this today during his presentation at the ‘Certified Practicing Accountants’ annual workshop in Port Moresby.

The Government recently announced in Parliament the nomination fee increases for the National and Local Level Government Elections in PNG.

Intending candidates for the National Elections are to pay a K10, 000 nomination fee, an increase from K1000, while the candidates contesting the LLG Elections to pay K2, 000, which is an increase from K500.

Govt bypass law office to amend or draft laws

This was revealed by the Chairman of Constitutional Law Reform Commission, Dr Eric Kwa, during the Certified Practising Accountants Annual conference in Port Moresby.

Dr Kwa said what was costing the state in millions of Kina in laws drafted by private firms, could be done freely by CLRC.

The CLRC is also the only constitutionally mandated office to carry out reviews and drafting of laws in PNG.

“The current legal fee that we’ve got from a private law firm, they’re charging K7 million for the drafting of a law.