OECS Chief Parliamentary Counsels review legislation as the sub-region moves towards an Economic Union

Sylna Ambris-Dick

Castries, St. Lucia, (May 22, 2010) – OECS Chief Parliamentary Counsels (CPCs) recently met in Saint Lucia to further clarify mechanisms for implementing the OECS Economic Union Treaty.

Sylna Ambris-Dick, Legislative Drafter at the OECS Secretariat, says that the Bill, which gives effect to the Treaty of Basseterre Establishing the OECS Economic Union, was among three pieces of legislation reviewed by OECS Chief Parliamentary Counsels: “The draft bill which has been under discussion will implement the Treaty into the domestic law of the implementing Member State. Much attention was focused on the ability of the OECS to legislate in eight specific areas (such as monetary policy, trade policy , and civil aviation). This novel development is proposed to assist in enforcing decisions made by the OECS Authority.”

The OECS Legislative Drafter reported that the recent meeting discussed what appears to be a regular topic arising from discussions on the Treaty concerning the delegation of legislative competence. However the CPCs are attempting to make the language of the Bill as precise as possible.

Describing the overall discussions as lively, the Legislative Drafter told the OECS Newslink that Chief Parliamentary Counsels also discussed the Procurement and Contract Administration Bill.

The OECS Chief Parliamentary Counsels also discussed the Competitions Regulations. These Regulations will provide institutional and administrative support to the provisions contained in the Competition Bill. The Competition Bill was drafted due to a requirement under Chapter Eight of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas to implement competition policy and law in the Caribbean Community to govern anti-competitive business conduct.

CPCs Group

The OECS Secretariat coordinated the Saint Lucia meeting to evaluate the draft enabling legislation for the new Treaty of Basseterre Establishing the OECS Economic Union, the draft Regulations for the OECS Competition Bill and the draft Procurement and Contract Administration Bill. Legal Officer at the OECS Secretariat’s Legal Unit, Turkessa Benjamin – Antoine, says OECS Parliamentary Counsels play a critical role in preparing Member States for the establishment of the OECS Economic Union.

Parliamentary Counsels or Legislative Drafters are specialist attorneys-at-law who assist Parliament in its legislative agenda by, among other things, drafting legislation which, on enactment, become law. This is the second meeting of OECS Chief Parliamentary Counsels regarding the imminent establishment of an OECS Economic Union.

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