Parliament is scheduled to begin its final meeting on the August 13, before the House dissolves on September 8, 2014.
The “Family Protection Bill 2014” is before the House and the Bills and Legislation Committee (BLC) will conduct its inquiry into it starting Monday.
The Bill aims to provide for the protection of families from domestic violence and to promote the safety, health and wellbeing of victims of domestic violence and for related purposes.
The objectives of this new Bill are; (a) to ensure that safety and protection of all persons who experience or witness domestic violence, (b) to provide support and redress for all victims of domestic violence, (c) to facilitate programs for victims of domestic violence to assist their recovery and ensure that they are able to lead a safe and healthy life, (d) to facilitate the issue and enforcement of police safety notices and protection orders to stop domestic violence, (e) to implement certain principles underlying the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child and (f) to create offences in relation to domestic violence and provide for increased sentences for persons convicted of such offences where certain aggravating factors are present.
A Second Bill currently in the Speaker’s Office is the Provincial Government (Amendment) Bill 2014.
This Bill seeks to amend the Provincial Government Act 1997, in order to permit holding of elections on a date other than the fourth anniversary of the previous election when certain circumstances make such action necessary in the public interest.
The BLC is responsible for reviewing all the draft legislation introduced to Parliament. BLC will also prepare a written report on the Bill containing observations and recommendations arising from the Committee deliberations for the House to debate on.
Meanwhile, the public is encouraged to submit their views on issues regarding both Bills.