Revised penal code to be considered by Majlis next week

The parliamentary committee assigned with reviewing the penal code will present the finished draft to the full house on Monday, local media has reported.

After considering 30 late amendments suggested by the Attorney General’s Office late last month, the committee has added a clause mandating that the new code will come into force within six months of ratification, reported Sun Online.

The initial draft of the penal code was prepared by legal expert Professor Paul H Robinson and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, upon the request of the Attorney General in January 2006. The project was supported by the United Nations Development Program.

Professor Robinson’s team have published two volumes (volume 1 and volume 2) consisting of commentaries on sections of the draft bill.

The bill was first sent to the Majlis (parliament) in 2006 and will replace the 1961 penal code.

The new code has provoked much debate, with the Adhaalath Party’s Sheikh Ilyas Hussain perceiving a lack of Islamic punishments in previous drafts.