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Bill proposes new three tier Court

A bill, to be tabled in Parliament this week called the Land and Titles Bill 2019, is seeking to repeal the Land and Titles Act 1981.

It also proposes the establishment of a new three tier Court comprising of “the Court of First Instance, Court of First Appeal and Court of Final Appeal.”

The bill is among the bills to be tabled and read once Parliament passes the Supplementary Budget, which was the focus of the first day of its first session for 2019 yesterday.

According to the Bill’s Explanatory Memorandum, in June 2016, the Legislative Assembly passed a resolution to establish a Special Inquiry Committee to consider the rules and procedures of the Land and Titles Court.

The Inquiry was also tasked to make recommendations to improve the Land and Titles Court, specifically, rules and procedures to be transparent and accountable. 

“The process should be designed to discourage the adjournment of cases and to establish guidelines and transparent processes to appoint Lands and Titles Court Judges on periodic terms,” the memorandum reads.

“In response to the recommendations of the Committee the Government has drafted the Land and Titles Bill 2019 (“Bill”) to repeal and reform the Act."

“Other recommendations of the Committee will be addressed in separate Bills to follow, regulations, and rules of procedures which will be drafted and made after this Bill has been passed.”

The Land and Titles Bill 2019 seeks to revise the Act and modify it to address some of the recommendations made by the Committee.

This includes the proposed establishment of a new three tier Court which: comprises of the Court of First Instance, Court of First Appeal and Court of Final Appeal.

The Court will be presided over by a “legally qualified professional appointed as the President, Assistant President, Deputy President or the Presiding member of the Final Court of Appeal bench. 

“In summary, each tier of the Land and Titles Court will be presided over by a legal professional.”

Parliament continues.

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