Fisheries jurisdiction, procedures, fines and liabilities queried


OFFENCES committed under the Fisheries Management legislation are to be prosecuted before the High Court except where jurisdictions are within the Magistrates Court and where summary proceedings are taken.

An authorised officer may lay information under the guidance and control of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) as a precondition for the Solomon Islands Government to sue for and recover fees, levies and charges.

It further provides that any limitation on the laying of information under any Act will not apply to an offence under the proposed legislation

The DPP, Ronald Bei Talasasa raised his concern during hearing of the Fisheries Management legislation before the Bills and Legislation Committee (BLC) of the possible misinterpretation of clause 98(2).

The limitation on laying of information could mean either such is by of the Statute of Limitation Act, or it could be interpreted to mean limiting the powers of the DPP in relation to what is provided for in legislation.

“If the former is the intention of the provision, then it must be specifically spelt out.

“If it refers to the latter, then that provision must be read with section 91 of the Constitution.

“… and if it steps into the corridors that is provided for or as section 91 of the Constitution, then it should also be made clear so as to avoid any conflict,” the DPP stated in the report.

The BLC then added that the implication of the limitation of laying information in court must be clearly expressed so as to avoid misinterpretations.

If such limitations are required by the Statute of Limitation Act, then it must be clearly expressed.

“If it is limiting the DPP’s powers to laying information in relation to other legislations, then such interpretations ought to be construed carefully as there could be a possible breach of the Constitution,” the report added.

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