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Revision of the laws of the land placed on ‘front burner’

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The Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs is to spearhead a
drive to revise the laws of Antigua and Barbuda, making them more relevant to
today’s conditions and to be more accessible as well.
Word of this comes from the Attorney General, Sir Steadroy Benjamin in a
statement to the House of Representatives on Monday.
“Mr. Speaker, the laws of this country were last revised in 1994, 30 years ago, and
no administration saw it fit to revise the laws to make it one comprehensive law;
one book, one law in one place where we can find the necessary laws with which
we are concerned today. For example, later today, we shall be looking at the
Companies Act, which has had six amendments, 1995, 2004, 2009, 20017, 2020
and 2023. Now when parliamentarians, students or persons overseas are trying to
follow the law, the various amendments they are all over the place,” he asserted.
The AG explained that the same circumstances existed with the rules of parliament
which were updated last year; the first time since 1967. “It was this government,
with your assistance, Mr. Speaker, and others who made the Standing Orders
relevant for today,” he noted.
Sir Steadroy asked members on the opposition bench to cooperation with the
government in this revision exercise as it will redound to their benefit as well. “I
expect to have discussions with your side (the opposition) on the matter. Let us get
the laws revised this year,” he urged.
He revealed that he has already instructed the Law Revision Commissioner, to start
the process as the revision must be done as a matter of urgency.
“It is an expensive process but that will not deter us from getting the laws revised
in the interest of all,” he emphasised.
The attorney general relayed to parliament that he himself had difficulties finding
relevant portions of the law in preparation for the debate and therefore had to rely
on the staff of the ministry to assist with the research.

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