Drafting of Legislation for Code of Conduct for MPs: AG Seeks Cabinet Approval

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

The need for a Code of Conduct for leaders, including ministers and members of parliament, is outlined in section 149 of the Constitution.

Leung stated that the Code of Conduct Bill 2016 (Bill No. 22 of 2016) was initially introduced in Parliament in 2016 and read twice.

He mentioned that the Bill was referred to the Standing Committee of Justice, Law, and Human Rights. However, before the Committee completed its review, Parliament was dissolved, causing the Bill to lapse.

Leung emphasized that the Government has a constitutional obligation to implement Section 149.

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

“As far back as 1996, the Reeves Commission, which helped shape the 1997 Constitution, recommended that the Constitution include an Integrity Code similar to a Code of Conduct. This was intended to prevent national leaders from using their positions for personal gain.”

“A Code of Conduct is a crucial element of the government’s integrity system. It will promote ethical behavior, reduce risks to government integrity, and enable Parliament—the most essential political institution—to perform its duties more efficiently.”

Leung concluded that establishing a code of conduct will enhance transparency and public accountability among leaders, thereby strengthening public trust in the government.

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