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Falklands : Falklands: Executive Council Report 12 February 2014
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 24.02.2014 (Article Archived on 24.03.2014)

Although there were just four papers for this meeting there was some substantial business to consider.

Executive Council Report 12 February 2014 Members attending MLA Elsby, MLA Rendell and MLA Summers. Although there were just four papers for this meeting there was some substantial business to consider. Under matters arising the Attorney General was asked to update Members on the appointment of a Law Commissioner to oversee the updating and consolidation of Falklands Law. This is a major project that will take two years to deliver, but will put the laws of the Falklands into an authoritative state, and be published on-line so that they are accessible. Recruitment of the Law Commissioner is expected to commence next week, and he/she will use the recommendations from the Greenberg/Davis report to deliver the project.. Members took the opportunity to ask the AG to update Exco on other improvements to the law which are under way. A review of Criminal Law is being led by a secondee from the Crown Prosecution Service who has been with us since November. This will result in two new Bills being presented to Exco in May. This will consolidate the laws relating to criminal evidence and procedure, and crimes in the Falkland Islands, and will bring clarity and certainty as to criminal offences and how offenders are dealt with once apprehended. Exco also sought an update on the progress on the action plan to address child safeguarding issues. A specialist lawyer in child protection has now produced a new Child Ordinance which will clarify the duties, obligations and powers of Government to protect children at risk from harm. In parallel with this the Child Safeguarding Board has been active in updating practices and procedures for responsible staff, is delivering associated training courses to over 70 participants, and is leading a public awareness campaign for children, parents and the general public. A new specialist child protection lawyer will fill an existing vacancy in the AG's Chambers shortly, and an experienced prosecutor has filled another of the staff positions. There was a paper from the Head of Policy on Financial Incentives for Businesses in Camp. This is part of the ongoing Rural Development Strategy. There are a number of important recommendations on how incentives can be put in place to both boost the economic output from Camp and to increase sustainable population. This is important to all Falkland Islanders, and will now be the subject of formal consultation with camp residents, the business sector generally, and the overall population. As part of preparations for oil, but also as a general requirement, a review of Maritime Policies and Legislation has been produced. Our primary legislation in this area dates back to 1894 and 1902. This is a very readable document, which recommends a new legislative framework to adopt and implement appropriate international frameworks in the national interest. Areas such as vessel safety, port state control, disposal of waste, ballast water control, and harbour management will be covered. It is important that all these regulations are appropriate and proportionate to our needs, and each area will be considered on its own merits. Further work will be commissioned, but the framework document is now available for public review and comment. A new draft Bill on Protection from Harassment was remitted to the Legislative Assembly. This clarifies an offence which was thought to apply in the Falklands, but about which there is legal doubt, and this will deal with that uncertainty. And finally an interim staffing review threw up some policy gaps in both education and immigration on the acceptance of non-English speakers into our schools, and what resources should be made available to deal with this. An interim solution has been found to deal with some current difficulties, but a formal considered approach is essential going forward. Meanwhile Exco approved and additional primary teacher to split a class which had reached its 30 pupil limit, and a further 3 months has been agreed for the Nursery Liaison Officer so that a report and recommendation can be received and implemented if thought appropriate. As this was his last meeting of Exco Members thanked the Governor Nigel Haywood for his excellent advice and assistance during his term of office. and wished him well for the future.


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