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Kuman: Laws passed without lawyers’ say

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By CHARLES MOI
A LOT of legislations that have been passed recently by Parliament have not had any input from the PNG Law Society, president Peter Kuman says.
Kuman told the Special Parliamentary Committee on Public Sector Reform and Service Delivery in Port Moresby yesterday of the work the law society did in the legal profession.
The committee, comprising chairman Elias Kapavore and members Gary Juffa and Mehrra Kipefa, held a one-day hearing into the implementation of the Lawyers Act 1986.
“A classic example is the Anti-money laundering legislation that was passed, which affects the (legal) profession in a significant way,” Kuman said.
“We (PNG Law Society) were not invited by the Central Bank and the Law Reform Commission to comment on (the law).”
He said the Papua New Guinea Law Society did not play any role in the Law Reform Commission.
“However, any draft legislations or proposed legislations, if they circulate to us for our comments, what we do is we forward it to all our members who are lawyers for their input,” Kuman said.
“That’s as far as we interact.”
Kapavore said the issues raised by Kuman were an area that was clearly lacking in the country.
He said the law society must be consulted when laws are enacted or amended.
Juffa said the law society’s lack of input in laws passed by parliament was an interesting revelation.
“We have about more than 1000 lawyers most of whom are Papua New Guineans,” he said.
“They owe their education to the public because they receive their education by the public scholarship process so they also have a duty to their country.”
Juffa said law societies in other countries engaged with the public in proposing laws and legal reforms.

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