6 Mar 2014

Bureaucracy delays PNG's tough new laws - Justice Minister

4:50 pm on 6 March 2014

Tough amendments to the Papua New Guinea criminal code, passed last year by the PNG Parliament, are yet to be implemented by the courts.

The laws, described by the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill at that time as draconian efforts to curb and deter lawlessness in the country, are yet to be certified and gazzetted for use.

This was revealed by the Attorney General and Justice Minister Kerenga Kua during a magistrates conference, when a delegate complained the courts are still using old laws that are not tough and don't serve as deterrents.

Kerenga Kua says the fault is the slow bureaucratic process.

He says the Clerk of Parliament has to give the clearance for the Speaker to certify the laws and then have them gazzetted.

The changes included the re-introduction of the death penalty, the repeal of the Sorcery Act, tougher liquor laws, penalties of up to 50 years jail for some offences and life imprisonment for kidnapping for ransom.