Deputy Chairperson of LRDC, Etuna Josua briefing Members of Parliament of some of the achievements of the Commission
|Story by George Sanzila
Tsumeb - Deputy Chairperson of the Law Reform and Development Commission (LRDC), Etuna Josua says the commission has worked on a number of bills that have finally been translated into laws. Josua singled out the Married Persons Equality Act of1996, Combating of Rape Act of 2000, Combating of Immoral Practices Amendment Act of 2000 (‘sexual offences with youth’), Maintenance Act of 2003, Combating of Domestic Violence Act of 2003, Third Constitutional Amendment Act and Electoral Act of 2014., Prevention and Combating of Torture and Repeal of obsolete laws of 2018 as some of the statutes the Commission has helped to enact.
He was speaking to Members of Parliament belonging to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs who are converged in Tsumeb for a one-week consultative meeting with stakeholders falling under the ambit of the committee in order to understand their operations, achievements and challenges as part of the latter’s oversight function.
The LRDC is mandated to examine existing legislation and make recommendation for the review, reform and development of such laws. It further assists in enacting laws that seek to enhance respect for human rights as enshrined in the constitution of Namibia as well as make laws easily accessible. The commission recently submitted reports to the Minister of Justice on the Repeal of Obsolete laws, Mental Health Report and draft Bill and the Abolishment of the Common Law Offences of Sodomy and Unnatural Sexual Offences.
The LRDC current projects approved for implementation include National Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF), Administrative Justice (enhance article 18 of the constitution),Review of Insolvency Act, 1936, Laws Impeding Development, Obsolete laws project, Disability Rights, Road Safety, Locus standi, Customary law marriages, Sodomy law and the Electoral Laws on the limitations on Candidature for National Assembly for Public Servants.
According to Etuna, loss of experienced researchers, political influence, public perceptions and limited budgetary allocation are some of the factors hampering the effectiveness of the commission. He further added that many a times the enactment of laws is delayed following the initiation process making the work of the commission seem inefficient. Lack of consultations and thorough sensitization of lawmakers were also identified as some of the stumbling blocks.