Parliament begins almost daily hearings next Tuesday

POSTED: 11/9/11 1:08 AM

St. Maarten – Members of Parliament have already been sent convocations for the first of three Central Committee meetings that focus on revamps to the Civil Code , the introduction of the law on special investigative powers (BOB) and the new penal code. All of these laws were referred back to the Central Committee for further study during a public meeting. The planned Central Committee meetings will serve as hearings with specific agencies and allow MPs to prepare for the actual debate in a public meeting, where they can either approve the law as proposed by the government or make amendments.

The first hearing, which is with the Court of Guardianship, has been set for 10:00 a.m. on November 15. The specific law under review is the one on the joint custody of minors. The second meeting has been scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on November 18 and will look at the law creating a centralized registration system for child abuse. The organizations who are set to be at the hearing are the Safe Haven Foundation, Women’s Desk, the Court of Guardianship, the I Can Foundation, Crystal Children’s Home and the Ujima Foundation. The third meeting on November 18 at 10:00 a.m. will be the inheritance and legacies ordinance, the invited guests for this meeting are Notary Association and the Bar Association.

The schedule becomes tentative after those three meetings with hearings scheduled through to December 5. That last meeting is the new penal code.

Arrindell is keen to finalize especially the discussions on the Law on Special Investigative Powers because it is linked to next year’s assessment that will be conducted by the Caribbean Financial Action Taskforce. More generally she thinks handling these laws and others left behind by the Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles is in the country’s interest.

“It’s in our interest to move on so we can handle new laws in the 2012 – 2013 sitting year. It is important to start,” Arrindell said.

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