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Constitution (Amendment) Act 2013 (No. 8 of 2013).

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General provisions; Constitutional law
Law, Act

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In 1995, the Constitution was amended for the first time since it was adopted in 1979 upon achieving Independence. And the amendments made was, among other things, in respect of section 40 to increase the number of the members of Cabinet from eleven to thirteen. That was achieved by increasing the number of Ministers from eight to ten, the Beretitenti, Te Kauoman ni Beretitenti and the Attorney General makes up the total of thirteen.

The new amendment at section 2 of the Act is to further amend section 40 to increase that number by one, totalling fourteen in all the number of members of the Cabinet.

Section 3 of the Act amends section 76 of the Constitution by repealing subsection (2) which confers onto the members of the Maneaba immunity from civil and criminal proceedings for words spoken before, or written in a report to, the Maneaba or a committee of the Maneaba, or by reason of any matter or thing brought by them in the Maneaba or in a committee of the Maneaba. This privilege has been consistently abused by the members themselves, mostly at the meetings of the Maneaba, by making derogatory, abusive, inaccurate, unsubstantiated, scandalous and defamatory remarks not only against their fellow members but to certain members of the public, who cannot by law, take part in the proceedings of the Maneaba. The amendment will act as a reminder to the members of their role as leaders to be responsible for their actions arising of the words spoken or used in the Maneaba or in a committee of the Maneaba and the effect that may have on those that elect them into office.

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