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Parliament to debate Corrections Service Bill on Thur

Parliament is set to debate the Corrections Service (Amendment) Bill 2024 on Thursday and is to consider the Bill without delay.

Speaking on his motion, Attorney-General Siromi Turaga moved his motion under Standing Orders 51; that the Bill pass through one stage at a single sitting of Parliament, that the Bill must not be referred to a Standing Committee or other committees of Parliament, that the Bill must be debated, voted upon by Thursday, but that one hour be given to debate the Bill with the Right of Reply given to me as the Member moving the motion.

Turaga said the Bill is urgent for the Government as it incorporates change to align with the current practice of the Corrections Service which will improve the administration of the Corrections Service.

He said there has been wider consultation with the Office of the Solicitor-General and with the Fiji Corrections Service.

He said to put some clarity to some of the gaps from the Act in 2004, there will be a holistic review of the Act later on, when necessary.

Responding to the motion, Opposition MP Jone Usamate said it was hypocritical of the Government to bring in this motion under Standing Order 51.

Usamate said when you say something and you do the exact opposite, you are a hypocrite.

“This Bill needs to be taken to the Committee. I give you one example of very poor drafting that I, a non-lawyer have already seen. Clause 2.9 states and I quote, “Clause 10 of the Bill amends section 26 of the Act by mandating upon admission and immediately before discharge, a person must be medically examined”. What does that mean?”

“I do not support this motion that it be taken through Standing Order 51,” Usamate said.

The motion carried after 28 voted in favour of debating the Bill on Thursday, while 23 voted no.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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