Fifteen draft ordinances await parliament’s approval

POSTED: 07/16/13 12:23 PM

St. Maarten – There are at least fifteen draft ordinances – all related to the civil code – awaiting approval by the parliament. The parliament website actually lists 18 draft ordinances, but some of them have already been approved by the parliament, such as the Penal Code (which is still awaiting ratification, pending the outcome of a procedure at the constitutional court), the ordinance on special Investigative Powers (the so-called BOB-law, which went into effect on August 31 of last year) and the ordinance that declares July 1 Emancipation Day. This piece of legislation went into effect already last year, making July 1 an official holiday.

Among the legislation that is still awaiting approval by the parliament are the ordinances on parental authority, the Central Registration System for Child Abuse, inheritance and legacies, and the purchase of immovable properties and the contracting of works.

While all these pending laws are interesting especially for civil law attorneys, they obviously do affect everyday life for ordinary citizens. One of the ordinances that still do not have the approval of the parliament is about consumer protection. This law sets the rules for amongst others warranties.

Currently retailers hardly honor warranties on the products they sell. It is almost standard practice to refer consumers to the manufacturer in case a product malfunctions. Those manufacturers are often located somewhere in China or some other faraway place where the chances for consumers to claim the rights they are entitled to based on their warranty certificate are slim at best.

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