President assents to Law Commission Bill 2022 |03 August 2022
Law Commission Act 2022 to become operational as from next year
President Wavel Ramkalawan yesterday assented to The Law Commission Act 2022.
The purpose of this Act is to establish the Seychelles Law Commission which will be responsible for reviewing the laws of Seychelles with a view to proposing legislative amendments or new legislation to the government and the National Assembly.
The main tasks of the Commission will be: Law Reform; Law Revision; and Legislative Scrutiny.
Further, the Commission will be given the responsibility of compiling the Seychelles Law Reports.
“This law is very important and will come into effect next year. We recall the debates on this subject at the National Assembly but this law will lead us towards modernity. Many Commonwealth countries have come up with this principle and this Commission will have specific duties. They will also compile the judgements coming from the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal,” the President explained.
Furthermore, President Ramkalawan shared that for the review of Civil Code and Child Protection, special committees were appointed. “This Law Commission will take all these responsibilities as they will follow what is happening in the Courts and even with the guidance of the Attorney General they will be able to make recommendations. The Commission will also fulfill another objective of the government which is to have public participation when a law is being passed. They will have therefore the responsibility to have public consultations and also with the National Assembly members. This will help our Legal System and our Judiciary to remain above everybody and that laws are not being made for only a group of people,” explained President Ramkalawan.
At any point is this Commission taking over the work of the National Assembly, clarified the President. “When a bill is being prepared, it has to be gazetted. Once this process is done, it becomes NA’s property. At this time, they do the first reading and then they do their work and debate on the bill. Role of the NA remains intact and the role of the Commission is to see if the bill goes against the Constitution or any other issues.”
About the work of the commission
Attorney General Frank Ally explains that this Law is clear and that the Commission will work mainly on Law Reform, Revision and Legislative scrutiny. “The Commission will be an advisory body to the Republic that will monitor and review the laws of Seychelles. It will recommend new legislation and amendments to existing laws. The Commission will take up the functions of the Law Revision Commissioner and as such, the Bill proposes the repeal of the Statute Law Revision Act, Cap. 232. The Commission will build on the milestones achieved under the government's ongoing Law Revision Project which ends in December 2022. Regarding Legislative scrutiny, the Commission will engage in both pre-legislative scrutiny and post legislative scrutiny. This will be a critical function of the Commission. Legislative scrutiny is usually an exercise undertaken by the members of the National Assembly. Currently, the National Assembly undertakes pre-legislative scrutiny through its Scrutiny of Bills Committee where the members of the National Assembly examine and analyse legislative proposal with a view to improving the quality of the proposed law. The Commission is intended to assist the National Assembly as far as possible in undertaking pre-legislative scrutiny.”
AG Ally added that the Commission will be governed by Commissioners who will include the Attorney General, judges and lawyers who will consult the public and key stakeholders on proposals of the Commission. The day-to-day administration and activities will be spearheaded by the person who is appointed as the director of the Commission. The director will be supported by other technical staff.
The assent of this law was witnessed by the AG Ally and Judge Ranjan Perera in the presence of Vice-President Ahmed Afif, Chief Justice Rony Govinden, the leader of government business in the National Assembly, Bernard Georges.