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23 March 2009

MHA Introduces Public Order Bill in Parliament, 23 March 2009

           MHA has introduced the Public Order Bill during the Parliamentary Session on 23 Mar 2009. The proposed Public Order Act seeks to create a more effective legal framework for Police management of public order.  
2          The Public Order Act is part of a continuous review of the larger public order management framework over the years. The liberalization of the permit regime governing indoor political activities and to provide exemption for such, and more recently, the change to the use of Speakers’ Corner to allow for outdoor demonstrations without permit, is part of this larger review. The Act is aimed at distinguishing between types of activities in outdoor setting, separating those assessed to be inherently higher public order risks and those with lower public order risks. The Act will empower Police to effectively intervene, defuse and de-escalate dynamic situations on the ground with options to calibrate such interventions in an appropriate, measured and balanced manner. 
3          The Public Order Act will put in place a regulatory framework that will allow security and public order challenges to be managed in a more transparent, targeted and calibrated manner. It has been introduced in Parliament for First Reading on 23 Mar 2009. An overview of the Bill is appended. The Bill will be tabled for Second Reading at the next available Parliament sitting.
Ministry of Home Affairs
23 March 2009 
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