FORMER Attorney General and very senior lawyer Billy Titiulu says some provisions in the Public Health Emergency Bill (PHEB) 2021 does not harmonise with the Supreme Law - our National Constitution.
The Bill which currently before the Bills and Legislation Committee was scrutinised Titiulu who is also the Secretary of the Independent Parliamentary Group last week.
Before giving what he described as a ‘Litmus Test’ for this he said the Independent Group’s position in a nutshell the intention of the bill is okay; “we need a legislation to operate in times we have the emergency situation.”
With this current Bill Titiulu said its important to test the provisions inside this Bill against every provision inside the constitution.
Section 2 of the constitution states that ‘This Constitution is the supreme law of Solomon Islands and if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution, that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.
“Any law that go against the principles stipulated in the constitution is not good for the country and its citizens,” he added.
For example Titiulu highlighted clause 6 of this soon to be Public Health Emergency Bill, it has similar wording to section 2 of the constitution.
Clause 6 states ‘In the event of an inconsistency arising between a provision of this Act and a provision of any other law, this Act prevails’.
“If we look at our constitution it also has similar provision which states if any other law is inconsistence with the constitution then the other law is void.
“My point is this in this bill they are trying to elevate a bill’s position which is lower to be in the same level with the constitution,” he explained.
Titiulu strongly stated before BLC that this is cannot be happening in anyway and the country cannot do that and he believes that this is unconstitutional.
“Bear in mind that this constitution is also a law and so when we used words like in the event of an inconsistency in the provision of this Act and provision of any other law as stated in clause 6(1) of this emergency bill.
“Any other law does not only include any other regulations it also includes other laws and the constitution is a law therefore this provision in the bill is unconstitutional,” he said.
By ANDREW FANASIA