Attorney General Levi Peter has announced that new legislation, or amendments to existing ones, will soon find their way to the country’s statute books.
While addressing the opening of the new Law Year on Thursday, Peter identified four namely, the Money Laundering Act, Proceeds of Crime Act, Bail Act and the Legal Profession Act.
“There are a number of pieces of legislation which some of which have been, to use the phrase ‘been knocking around for a long time, far too long’, and we have come to a number of these special sittings, and other fora, and have spoken about these pieces of legislation and a number of them, for different reasons, have not found their way onto the statute books and some of them are already there and but require amendments,” he said.
He said an amendment is to be done to the already existing Money Laundering Act and three new ones, the Proceeds of Crime Act, the Bail Act and the Legal Profession will be addressed “by this side of Christmas.”
He encouraged all those involved in the process to ensure that those pieces of legislation are taken forward.
Peter noted that a substantial amount of work has been done on the Legal Profession Act both by the Dominica Bar Association and by the Chambers of Attorney General and again made the call to the Bar Association and others to conclude discussions in that area.
“But I can say that the likelihood is that bill will proceed very shortly to parliament for seeking to be debated and passed,” he noted, adding that the Bail Act is also expected to get similar treatment.
Meanwhile, President of the Dominica Bar Association, Mary Auriel Roberts, who also addressed the ceremony, said the association has comprehensively reviewed the Legal Profession Act in order to have it finalized.
“Through our Legislative Drafting Committee, the Dominica Bar Association has comprehensively reviewed the Legal Profession Act and we will continue to work with the Attorney General’s chambers to finalize the passage of the Act and to review the Bail Bill and other legislation that are presented to us,” she said.
She pointed out that at a recent OECS Bar Association meeting the Legal Profession Act in the sub region was reviewed and it was emphasized that harmonized legislation was needed and Dominica can learn from other jurisdiction where the Act has been passed.