General regulations extended by one year

Parliament on Wednesday (April 23) approved an extension of one year for general regulations without a statutory basis.

Presenting a committee report recommending the extension, MP Ahmed Mohamed expressed hope that parent legislation for most of the regulations could be passed this year as the relevant bills were currently at committee stage.

Prior to the ratification of the new constitution on August 7, 2008, parliament passed a General Regulations Act as parent legislation for over 80 regulations without a statutory basis, or were not formulated under an Act of parliament.

These include regulations for criminal justice procedures, companies and finance leasing transactions, insurance, jails and parole, freedom of information and building codes.

Article 271 of the constitution states, “Regulations derive their authority from laws passed by the People’s Majlis pursuant to which they are enacted, and are enforceable pursuant to such lawful authority. Any regulations requiring compliance by citizens must only be enacted pursuant to authority granted by a law enacted by the People’s Majlis.”

The parent act prolonged the lifespan of the regulations – deemed necessary for administrative functions and service provision – for a one year period until new legislation, such as a Criminal Procedures Act, Evidence Act, Freedom of Information Act and Political Parties Act could be enacted.