The National Law Review Taskforce (NLRT) instituted to review and propose changes to harmonise conflicting provisions of laws with the Constitution and other laws, has completed the review.

Chairperson of the task force, Attorney General Shera Lhundup said the report is being compiled.   “It is most likely to be ready before the summer session of the Parliament,” he said.

The task force identified conflicting laws with the Constitution; conflicting or duplicating provisions of laws; harmonised and consolidated laws; identified and conform redundant law for nullity; and recommended enactments or procedural changes to strengthen rule of law, the Attorney General said.

“We couldn’t even locate a copies of some laws,” Shera Lhundup said. The missing laws include the Life Insurance Act 1953-1959, the Stamp Act 1968, Tourism Act 1972, Customs Act 1980, and Law of Taxation 1980. “There were some Acts which are not implemented yet.”

He said the task force also looked into the Supreme Court’s circulars on various provisions of laws. “We need to maintain the due process of democratic legislation. Otherwise, it might lead to the usurpation of legislation rights,” the Attorney General said. “We looked at procedural laws and how to simplify procedures.”

Some laws were duplications such the Nationality Law 1958 and the Citizenship Act 1985.

The government issued an executive order on April 20, 2015 and constituted the law review task force. Since then, the task force members comprising of Attorney General, Justice Lungten Dubgyur, Drangpon Ugyen Tshering, Drangpon Ramjam Tenzin, Lieutenant Tandin Penjore, Chief Attorney Sonam Tashi, private lawyer Yonten Dorji and attorney Kesang Yangkey reviewed all the laws in the country.

The Legislative Committee of the National Assembly also recommended the NLRT to review provisions concerning the rape of a child above 12 years, use of handcuff versus human rights violation for possible amendment, handling of cyber crimes and possibilities to empower police to grant bail for petty offences.

The task force held numerous consultations with various sectors including the members of Parliament of the National Assembly and National Council local government and the judiciary.

Tshering Palden