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Story Highlights

  • Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, said this is a significant achievement for the Upper House.
  • the Anti-gang Bill is before a Joint Select Committee, while the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill was tabled.
  • A quarter of the Bills were structural benchmarks under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

The Senate passed a total of 40 Bills during 2013, nearly double the average number approved each year over the previous four years.

In a statement in the Upper House on December 20, Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, said this is a significant achievement for the Upper House.

Mr. Golding informed that in addition to the legislation passed, the Anti-gang Bill is before a Joint Select Committee, while the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill was tabled today.

Over the period 2009 to 2012, the average number of Bills passed was just under 22 per calendar year.

“Apart from the fact that the 2013 legislative performance approximately doubles the average over the preceding four years, what is also significant is the substantive nature of many of the Bills that have been passed this year,” he remarked.

Among the 40 Bills passed are the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) (Special Provisions) Act; Committal Proceedings Act; Defamation Act; Tax Administration Jamaica Act; Charities Act; Security Interests in Personal Property Act; Securities (Amendment) Act; and the Fiscal Incentives (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act.

“Each of these is a groundbreaking piece of legislation in its own right,” Mr. Golding said, noting that the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill is the largest piece of legislation to be brought to Parliament since the Companies Act in 2004.

He further informed that a quarter of the Bills were structural benchmarks under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

“The Leader of Government Business has expressed the aspiration that this should be the best Senate ever. Well, given that the principal function of the Senate is as a legislative chamber, one could confidently argue that our performance in 2013 has met that lofty benchmark,” he stated.

Mr. Golding also informed that a number of important Bills will be coming to the Senate in 2014. These include the Disabilities Bill; Occupational Safety and Health Bill; a new Road Traffic Bill; the Integrity Commission Bill to establish a single anti-corruption agency; and the DNA Bill.

Opposition Senator, Tom Tavares-Finson expressed gratitude to all members of the civil service at the various levels who participated in the “remarkable achievement” of passing 40 Bills for 2013.