The Solomon Islands Law Reform Commission today will launch its Issues Paper on the Penal Code of Solomon Islands at the Iron Bottom Sound Hotel.

The Penal Code is the criminal law of Solomon Islands. It sets out many of the criminal offences that apply throughout Solomon Islands including murder, rape, child abuse, stealing and corruption offences.

Solomon Islands Law Reform Commission Chairman Frank Kabui says "The Penal Code has been with us for the last 45 years and it is time to have a look at it to bring it up to date."

The Penal Code was introduced into Solomon Islands in 1963 before independence. Since then many political, social and legal changes have occurred that need to be taken into account in reviewing the Penal Code.

The Issues Paper gives information about the Penal Code, identifies problems with the Penal Code, gives information about how the criminal law has changed in other countries and asks questions about how the law should be changed in Solomon Islands.

"These questions have been designed to stimulate ideas, views, disagreements and comments to help the Law Reform Commission develop recommendations for changes to the Penal Code. There are questions on sexual offences against women and children. There are questions about the offences that apply to killing of another person. There are questions about the offences that deal with corrupt practices, and many more questions about other offences in the Penal Code," says Chairman Kabui.

The Law Reform Commission must enquire and report to the Minister on reforms necessary to the Penal Code reflect the current needs of the people of Solomon Islands.

The Law Reform Commission through its staff will consult widely on the Issues Paper.
"We are hoping to be able to engage with as many people as possible in our consultation program," says Chairman Kabui.

Consultations will be held throughout 2009 and will include workshops and meetings with special interest groups, as well as meetings in the Provinces. Comments, views, disagreement may be sent to the Law Reform Commission by post, email, fax or at face to face presentations.

Press Release (Law Reform Commission)