Friday, 14 November 2008 12:13 PM

Law Reform Commission Reviews Penal Code

The Law reform Commission of Solomon Islands is embarking on a project to review the Penal Code, which is the criminal law of the country, and the Criminal Procedure Code, the procedure of bringing criminal offenders to court.

Commission Chairman, former High Court Judge Frank Kabui says the Minister for Law and Justice has given the Commission 10 references or projects to work on, in terms of reforming the laws of the country.

But he says because the Commission could not do all 10 references at any one time, they have divided all 10 references into different segments and both the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code took priority.

Mr Kabui says some of the penalties stipulated under the Penal Code are too low and out of date.

Mr Kabui says the Commission is also looking at a short reference on land below high water mark.

He says according to law, land that is below the high water mark belongs to the government.

This area of land includes coastlines of the Islands.

Mr Kabui says this law was made many years ago and it may have cut across customary land interests and has sparked off a number of disputes in the past.

He says they will be tackling this job through research and case studies.

He says the result of this research is the publication of an issues paper - a document containing discussion on the various areas of the law under investigation which will need to be commented on by other stakeholders and the public.

Mr Kabui says the Commission would then write up a report containing recommendations which would be put in a form of a draft bill to the Minister for Law and Justice to take to Parliament.

Source: Solomon Islands Broadcasting Cooperation (SIBC)