MoRA, AGC finalising Syariah Courts Criminal Procedure Code
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE minister of religious affairs said the Syariah Courts Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) has been completed, but final changes are still being made to ensure fair and just enforcement of the Islamic criminal law.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman said the ministry and Attorney’s General Chambers are currently “active” in finalising the CPC, which outlines procedures for law enforcers to carry out investigation and prosecution.
“It’s already completed, but there are some chapters that need to be reviewed many times by the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) and the ministry,” the minister said, adding that the ministry is striving to finish the Code before June this year.
“We need to have an in-depth study of the Islamic criminal law and its implementation. The study is not about whether we are enforcing it or not, but on how to make the law as fair as possible and carried out according to Islamic law requirements,” he said.
The minister was speaking to The Brunei Times on the sidelines of the 12th Legislative Council session yesterday.
He went on to say that the government agencies responsible in drafting the CPC have lately held meetings every day.
“InsyaAllah, by the end of this month, the CPC will be in the hands of the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) and we will have discussions on the CPC in April or May,” said YB Pehin Dato Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin.
He said the CPC will be presen-ted to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, in June for approval.
The Sultan last month questioned the Ministry of Religious Affairs and AGC over the long wait in completing the CPC.
During the LegCo sitting, the minister said the number of crimes prosecuted under Syariah law has decreased by three per cent with 247 cases reported in the current 2015/2016 fiscal year compared to 255 cases in the previous financial year.
Brunei enforced the first phase of the Syariah Penal Code Order in April 2014, while the second phase will be implemented 12 months after the CPC has been gazetted.
The third and final phase, which includes the death penalty, is set to come into action two years after the Syariah Courts CPC has been gazetted.
The minister said before enforcing the second phase of Syariah law, the country will have law enforcers who are professionally trained to conduct the investigation as well as mete out punishments such as amputation of limbs.
He added that enforcement of the Syariah law will not be under the Ministry of Religious Affairs’ budget. “The budget will be required from time to time from the Ministry of Finance. Of course, budget is important in implementing the law such as training and course.”
YB Pehin Dato Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin said the ministry will conduct training courses with countries that have successfully implemented the Syariah law.
“There’s a need to get consultants and so on to get a better understanding and apply them.
“To achieve this, we will send some government officials to learn about the law, we will invite people to Brunei to train the officials on how to conduct the sentence, hold staff exchanges and visits between countries,” he added.
The Brunei Times