Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Malta Today: IVF, cohabitation laws on Cabinet agenda

Justice Minister Chris Said says IVF law is in advanced stages but cohabitation law not yet discussed in Cabinet.

Tuesday 8 May 2012 - 11:29 by Bianca Caruana

Justice minister Chris Said has said forthcoming laws regulating in vitro fertilisation and cohabitation were currently at an advanced stage.

"We have involved many stakeholders including NGOs, organisations and the government. The final draft of IVF is now in Cabinet to be discussed. The cohabitation law is not yet being discussed. The ministry had a deadline by the end of April to complete the work for the IVF law and the process has begun for discussion," Said said.

The minister, who was presenting the four-year overview of the justice, public dialogue and the family ministry, also said a draft law on party financing, drawn up by Nationalist backbencher Franco Debono, had been submitted as a private members' bill. "It is important that the law is put on the agenda for discussion as soon as possible. I also worked on it and it's a very good draft and it needs to find its place on the agenda."

Said was also asked about the government's delay in implementing amendments to laws found in breach of the Constitution and other human rights instruments by the Constitutional court, replying that amendments normally occur immediately "but some may require impact assessments before changes are made".

"I am working together with the Attorney General to revise sentences given in constitutional court to have a clear picture of which amendments can be immediately implemented so they can be done immediately. This is currently in its second phase," Said said.

"Laws are normally amended immediately but there are some laws which affect a large number people. This means that amendments need to be prepared and thought out properly. This is because you need to see what this impact will be on people and how to respond to it, which means there are cases which cannot be changed immediately. Those which need an impact assessment will be done too so we can finally be in a position to implement all the constitutional court decisions more immediately," Said said.

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