Cabinet to Consider Legislation for Code of Conduct: Attorney-General’s Initiative

Attorney-General Graham Leung is set to seek Cabinet’s approval to begin drafting legislation for a code of conduct for members of parliament.

The necessity for a Code of Conduct for leaders, including Ministers and Members of Parliament, is outlined in section 149 of the Constitution.

Leung mentioned that the Code of Conduct Bill 2016 (Bill No. 22 of 2016) was initially introduced in Parliament in 2016 and underwent two readings.

He explained that the Bill had been referred to the Standing Committee of Justice, Law, and Human Rights. However, while still under review, Parliament was dissolved, causing the Bill to lapse.

Leung highlighted that the Government has a constitutional duty to implement Section 149.

He noted that Codes of Conduct are already in place in the public service and many private sector organizations.

“As early as 1996, the Reeves Commission, whose efforts led to the 1997 Constitution, recommended an Integrity Code, similar to a Code of Conduct, to ensure national leaders do not exploit their office for personal gain.”

“A Code of Conduct is a crucial part of the government’s integrity system. It will promote ethical behavior, reduce risks to government integrity, and help Parliament, as the foremost political institution, perform its duties more effectively.”

Leung added that this initiative would enhance transparency and public accountability among leaders, thereby strengthening the public’s trust in the government.

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