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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:18 pm
by pjqhr230
…seems heading for Select CommitteeThe controversial Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Bill is again on the cards for debate in the National Assembly but from all indications it will be sent to a Select Committee where stakeholders could have an input and possibly iron out the kinks that the legal fraternity seems to oppose.In an invited comment yesterday, President of the Guyana Bar Association,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, Teni Housty said that he was advised that the recent deferrals were at the request of the legal fraternity and he understood that the Attorney General Charles Ramson will today ask that the Bill be sent to the Select Committee.A Select Committee of Parliament is established for Bills that have not found consensus in the house and which still surrounded by great tension.At that stage,Carlton Fisk Jersey, the members of the committee could invite stakeholders to make presentations and proposals and it is at this point the members of the legal fraternity will be allowed to make their addresses.Housty had recently told this newspaper that members of the fraternity had met and expressed their reservations as it relates to the proposed Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Bill and as such had requested the deferral of the Bill to facilitate “meaningful consultation.”Housty said that the principle of a code of ethics for the practitioners is a welcome proposal,Wholesale NBA Jerseys, but the one on the table leaves much to be desired, as is the case with the process in which the Bill is being peddled through Parliament.According to Housty, the members of the association also had a problem with the clause in the proposed legislation that mandates that attorneys be issued with a practice certificate before they could practice their profession in a court.He said that no other profession entails this restriction adding that it was discriminatory towards lawyers.Housty posited that it also bordered on meddling with the independence of the legal profession.Lawyers are questioning why if there are already provisions in place for persons breaching the tax law to be penalized, why up the ante to a discriminatory level – in that the lawyers must now have a tax-compliant practice certificate.Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Charles Ramson SC,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, had requested the Speaker of the House to defer the second reading of the proposed legislation so that there could be further consultations and while it was on the order paper for the last sitting of the National Assembly, it did not come up for debate.At that time a new order paper was circulated which pointed out that the bill will be dealt with today.Recently,Nike NFL Jerseys China, People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Executive and Member of Parliament Basil Williams told media operatives that while attorneys at law are in agreement with the code of conduct for lawyers stipulated in the Bill, it also includes a provision which is repressive, where one person was identified to regulate whether a lawyer in Guyana could practice or not.According to Williams, the Tax Act has adequate remedies and procedures to deal with persons who do not pay their right amount of taxes.“It (the Bill) has no place in telling lawyers they can’t practice unless they have a practice certificate. So it’s not about lawyers paying taxes. It’s about a repressive instrument where the government could politicise that requirement to target lawyers, especially lawyers who have the courage and who have been in the forefront of confronting the excesses and lawlessness of this government,Cheap Air Max 97 Trainers,” Williams told the media.He added that the Bill will directly impact the independence of lawyers in Guyana.Of concern to the PNCR is the fact that members of the legal profession were not given a copy of the Bill and therefore, they have not been able to make their views known or their voices heard.Additionally, the party claimed that there was not enough consultation with the members of the legal profession for the far-reaching changes to the existing Legal Practitioners Act.The proposed legislation has a provision which dictates that an Attorney-at-Law cannot practice his/her profession without first obtaining a Tax Practice Certificate from the Commissioner-General of the Guyana Revenue Authority.“A Tax Practice Certificate is a requirement under section 39 of the Tax Act. Non-compliance with this requirement has its own regime of penalties under the Income Tax Act. However, the present Bill would effectively deny an Attorney-at-Law the right to practice his/her profession in the absence of this Certificate.This is not only tantamount to double jeopardy, but infringes a person’s constitutional right to work,” the PNCR noted.