“Proposed Legislation Aims to Enhance Integrity in Parliament”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“As far back as 1996, the Reeves Commission, whose work led to the adoption of the 1997 Constitution, had recommended that the Constitution should have an Integrity Code similar to a Code of Conduct. This was to ensure that national leaders do not use their office for personal gain,” he said.

“A Code of Conduct is a crucial component of the integrity system of Government. It will encourage ethical conduct, reduce risks to the integrity of government, and enable the Parliament, as the paramount political institution, to perform its functions more effectively,” Leung added.

He asserted that this will enhance transparency and public accountability of leaders, thereby strengthening the public’s trust in the government.

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