PRESS RELEASEReport on controversial Bill misconstrues legislative intent of Parliamentary committee
PRESS RELEASE BY CAUSE FOR JUSTICE: 30 NOVEMBER 2018
* FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE *
SUBJECT: Report on controversial Bill misconstrues legislative intent of Parliamentary committee
Parliament is considering the Films and Publications Amendment Bill (“the Bill”). Most recently, the Bill has been deliberated by the Select Committee on Communications and Public Enterprises (“the Committee”). During its deliberations, the Committee proposed certain important amendments to the text of the Bill. The most significant amendment will ensure that material that contains explicit sexual conduct that violates human dignity remains prohibited. This was the clear legislative intent of the Committee.
However, on 20 November 2018, when the Committee adopted its Report, the text of the Report (prepared by the Parliamentary Legal Services) did not correctly reflect these amendments. Unfortunately, the error was not noticed. Consequently, protection against explicit sexual conduct and the protection of human dignity, intended by the Committee members, has been watered down.
Cause for Justice (“CFJ”) has been following the progress of the Bill and actively engaging Parliament. CFJ was present at the committee meeting of 24 October 2018, when the Committee deliberated on the parts of the Bill that deal with explicit sexual conduct. CFJ also re-listened to the Parliamentary Monitoring Group’s (“PMG”) audio recording of that meeting. The legislative intent of the Committee is clear: the distribution of publications, films and games that contain explicit sexual conduct which violates or shows disrespect for the right to human dignity of any person, is and should remain prohibited.
CFJ has alerted the members of the Select Committee to the erroneous text of the Report; indicating that it fails to give expression to their clear legislative intent and calling on the Committee to rectify its Report as a matter of urgency.
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