Flash News #13
Land Laws admitted to Parliament and referred to Committee A
On 6 April, a package of three government bills were admitted to Parliament and referred to the Committee for Constitutional Affairs, Judiciary, Public Administration and Local Government (Committee A) for consideration:
· Government Bill n. 34/II/2010 on the Special Regime for Defining Ownership of Immovable Property (Regime Especial Para a Definição da Tituariedade dos Bens Imóveis) establishes the rules for defining property ownership and assigning the initial property rights of real estate in Timor-Leste. This law expressly repeals Law 1/2003 of 10 March 2003 that established the Legal Regime of Real Estate and UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/27 of 14 August 2000 regarding the temporary ban on the sale of land in Timor-Leste by Indonesian citizens and Indonesian corporations.
· Government Bill n. 35/II/2010 on Expropriations (Lei das Expropriações) whose objective is to establish the legal system of land expropriation for public use.
· Government Bill n. 36/II/2010 on the Financial Property Fund (Fundo Financeiro e Imobiliário) establishes the Fund and its legal regime.
MPs approve Census Law
On 11 March, Government Bill n. 33/II establishing the legal regime for the upcoming census was admitted to Parliament and subsequently referred to Committee A. On March 29, the Vice-Minister of Finance, Mr. Rui Hanjam, gave a presentation on the draft bill to Parliament. The Census Law was approved the same day with 33 votes in favor, 0 against and 2 abstentions.
MPs approve Law on Precedence in State Protocol
On 12 April, in the presence of Agio Pereira, the Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers, Parliament began discussion on Government Bill. 32/II on Precedence in State Protocol, which was admitted to Parliament on 23 February and referred to Committee A. The law was approved on April 19 with 29 votes in favor, 1 against and 5 abstentions.
Swearing-in Ceremony of the Ombudsman (Provedor dos Direitos Humanos e Justiça- PDHJ)
On 14 April, Timor Leste’s Ombudsman (Provedor) and his two deputies took the oath of office during a ceremony in Parliament in the presence of government officials and the diplomatic corps.
Mr.Sebastião Dias Ximenes was reappointed as Provedor by Parliament on 10 Mach 2010.
Committee C Visits India
From 14 March – 2 April, Committee C undertook a study visit to India to explore best practices in the areas of financial management, economic development and the management of natural resources. India is one of the Emerging Economic Growth Countries and its experience was therefore considered relevant for the context of Timor-Leste. Committee C looked specifically at India’s development and financial management policies, as well as human resources capacity building and development. Fruitful meetings included discussions with the National Small Industries Corporation ltd, an enterprise whose mission is to create and support small businesses, and with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), a nonprofit, apolitical organization that does innovative agricultural research and capacity building for sustainable development with a wide array of partners across the globe (ICRISAT's mission is to help empower 600 million poor people to overcome hunger, poverty and a degraded environment in the dry tropics through better agriculture).
Round Table discussion on Land Laws
On 5 May, the Committee for Constitutional Affairs, Judiciary, Public Administration and Local Government (Committee A) will organize a public hearing on the package of Land Laws submitted to Parliament. The event will include the participation of the Minister of Justice, the Prosecutor General, the Ombudsman as well as of representatives of Ita Nia Rai, UNMIT, UNDP and the World Bank.
Study Tour of the Committee for Foreign Affairs and Defense (Committee B) to Angola and Mozambique
The Committee for Foreign Affairs and Defense (Committee B) will visit Angola and Mozambique from My 6 – 18 May. The objectives of the visit are:
· To strengthen the oversight capacity of Committee B, including its role and responsibilities;
· To study the special measures and security arrangements to be put in place for the safeguarding of oil and gas facilities, equipment and personnel;
· To study how Angola and Mozambique dealt with former guerrilla fighters, paramilitary and armed groups, and reconciliation/integration programmes.