Single legal instrument to combat corruption | Sunday Observer

Single legal instrument to combat corruption

The Sectoral Oversight Committee on Legal Affairs (anti-corruption) and Media has agreed in principle to consolidate all laws relating to bribery and corruption, and to formulate a comprehensive single piece of legislation that will encompass all offenses, the Sunday Observer reliably learns.

The Committee met on Friday, October 12 to discuss the matter.

A member of the committee told the Sunday Observer that they hope to table the law by early next year. However, it needs to be approved by the Cabinet.

“We hope to present the Bill in parliament by January next year. Much work has been carried out effectively against acts of bribery and corruption and this attempt is to bring everything together to avoid complications,” the member who wished to remain anonymous said.

The Bribery Act, Assets and Liabilities Law, and Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption Act and any amendments that would incorporate norms and standards contained in the United Nations Convention against Corruption will be consolidated into one legal framework.

The making of such a composite law is contemplated in Article 156A of the constitution introduced by the 19th amendment which states that Parliament by law shall provide for measures to implement the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and any other international Convention relating to the prevention of corruption, to which Sri Lanka is a party to.

“It’s a splendid opportunity to harmonise all the related laws and incorporate amendments to suit with contemporary needs. It’s an opportunity to move forward and finally have a law that would provide an effective legislative framework to deal with the scourge of corruption,” an adviser to the committee told the Sunday Observer.

This move is supported by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) and Special Presidential Task Force on Recovery of State Assets.

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