House Begins Debate on Trust Act

Photo: Michael Sloley Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, opens the debate on the Trust Act in the House of Representatives on July 10. Listening (at left) is Member of Parliament for Southern Trelawny, Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert.

Story Highlights

  • Debate on the Trust Act, which seeks to create a modern statutory instrument as it relates to the most pertinent principles of Trust law, began in the House of Representatives on July 10.
  • Opening the debate on the Bill, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, noted that there is no statute that provides for the establishment of governance of Trusts in Jamaica.
  • “Presently, the regulations of the conduct of Trustees is governed by the Trustee Act, a statute that was enacted in 1897, which is not in sync with today’s commercial climate and the common law,” Mr Vaz said.

Debate on the Trust Act, which seeks to create a modern statutory instrument as it relates to the most pertinent principles of Trust law, began in the House of Representatives on July 10.

The legislation addresses the creation, validity, duration and enforceability of Trusts; identifies the property that may be held on trust; and establishes the procedure for the appointment and removal of Trustees.

Opening the debate on the Bill, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, noted that there is no statute that provides for the establishment of governance of Trusts in Jamaica.

“Presently, the regulations of the conduct of Trustees is governed by the Trustee Act, a statute that was enacted in 1897, which is not in sync with today’s commercial climate and the common law,” Mr Vaz said.

He noted that in modernising the law in relation to Trusts, the Bill will codify the common law; repeal the Trustee Act; and provide savings and transitional provisions for continuity and to preserve the validity and enforceability of Trusts created under the Trustee Act.

The legislation also includes provisions for the keeping of accounts, impartiality, the giving of information, the separation of Trust and property, and the preservation of Trust property.

The Bill also provides for the power to relieve Trustees from personal liability and indemnification of Trustees by beneficiaries, and for the settlement of actions against Trustees by alternative dispute resolution.

Minister Vaz said the Bill will put in place a strong, modern, clear and comprehensive law that will support other measures for the modernisation and diversification of the economy.

“The stakeholders in the international financial services sector and the domestic Trust Services providers will be supported by this legislation. It addresses the need of a modern economy in which the investment community has increased its use of Trusts as a vehicle to enhance the returns that may be earned on the assets that are comprised in the Trust,” he said.

Mr. Vaz noted that the Bill includes provisions that will strengthen the regulatory environment and accountability standards to which Trustees are to adhere; and further, it bolsters the protective measures for persons who are affected by the terms of a Trust or provides services related to the Trust, inclusive of Trustees.

“The measures include the appointment of enforcers to ensure that the terms of the Trust are executed by the Trustee,” Mr. Vaz said.

Debate on the Bill will continue in the Lower House.

JIS Social