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LAWS OF BRUNEI
20 of 1983
1984 Ed. Cap. 1
REVISED EDITION 2001
(31st January 2001)
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. Short title.
3. Functions of Attorney General.
4. Form of publication.
5. Inclusion or removal of pages to be authorised by Order.
6. Page of Laws to be headed “Laws of Brunei”.
7. Annual revision of Laws.
8. Special revision date for particular law.
9. Certain officers to maintain sets of Laws.
10. Bound sets of Laws of Brunei to be kept for record.
11. Contents of Laws of Brunei.
12. Power to omit certain Laws.
13. Validity of laws not affected by omission from the Laws.
14. Laws of Brunei constitute proper Statute Book.
15. Powers of Attorney General.
16. No power to make alterations of substance.
17. Revised laws not to operate as new laws.
18. Altered provisions authentic as if so enacted.
18A. Printing of separate written laws.
19. Construction of references to laws embodied in the Laws.
20. Rectification of error or omission in the Laws.
21. Alternative mode of amending Laws.
22. Coming into operation of the Laws.
23. Expenses of revision.
LAW REVISION ACT
An Act to provide for the Revision of the Laws of Brunei
Commencement: 1st January 1984
1. This Act may be cited as the Law Revision Act.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“Act” includes an Enactment and part of an Act;
“in operation” in relation to any written law other than awritten law to which section 11(3) applies, means made and brought intooperation;
“Laws” means the revised edition of the written Laws of Bruneireferred to in section 3;
“revision date” means the date fixed in accordance with section 7for the revision of the Laws; and where the Laws contain any particular writtenlaw last revised under section 8, a reference in this or any other written lawto the revision date or the last revision date of the Laws shall in relation to that particular written law, include a reference to its specialrevision date.
Functions of Attorney General.
3. The Attorney General shall prepare, publish and maintain a revisededition of the written Laws of Brunei (to be called the Laws of Brunei) inaccordance with the provisions of this Act.
Form of publication.
4. The Laws shall be published in loose-leaf form or in such otherform as the Attorney General may determine and shall comprise such pages as maybe authorised to be included therein under section 5.
Inclusion of removal of pages to be authorised by Order.
5. (1) The Attorney General shall by Order called a Law RevisionOrder authorise the inclusion in the Laws of every page to be comprised therein,and every page so authorised, and no other, shall form part of the Laws.
(2) The Attorney General may by Order direct the removal of any page fromthe Laws and any page so directed to be removed shall cease to form part of theLaws.
(3) Every page comprised in the Laws shall bear on its face or overleaf areference to the Law Revision Order by which its inclusion therein isauthorised.
Page of Laws to be headed “Laws of Brunei”.
6. (1) Every page comprised in the Laws shall bear at the top theheading “Laws of Brunei”.
(2) A page bearing the heading prescribed by subsection (1) and appearingin other respects to be part of the Laws shall for all purposes be presumed tobe a page of the Laws.
(3) Any person who prints, publishes or knowingly has in his possession any page falsely purporting to be a page of the Laws or so closely resembling a page of the Laws as to be likely to be mistaken for such page shall be guilty of an offence: Penalty, a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for 2 years.
Annual revision of Laws. [S 4/97]
7. As soon as practicable after 1st. January of every year, commencingon 1st January, 1997, the Attorney General with the approval of His Majesty theSultan and Yang Di-Pertuan shall, with the intent that the Laws shall be revisedannually, revise the Laws and cause to be published in such form as he maydetermine —
(a) a new revised edition of any written law already included in theLaws which has been amended during the year ending on the preceding 31st.December; and
(b) any new written law enacted or made during the year ending on thepreceding 31st December, other than a written law the sole effect of which wasto amend any other written law,
to the intent that the Laws shall, subject to such omissions as areauthorised under section 12, contain all the written Laws of Brunei on suchdate.
Special revision date for particular law. [S 4/97]
8. (1) In special circumstances, the Attorney General may by Orderappoint a date other than the revision date mentioned in section 7 as a specialrevision date for any particular written law specified in such Order.
(2) The Attorney General shall revise the particular written laws as soonas practicable after the special revision date and shall publish it, as inoperation on that date, in the Laws.
(3) In every such case, the Attorney General shall insert anappropriate date in the Laws with reference to the special revision date of thatwritten law.
Certain officers to maintain sets of Laws.
9. (1) The Attorney General shall cause a copy of every page authorised to appear in the Laws to be delivered as soon as practicableafter publication to the Clerk of Councils, to the Registrar of the SupremeCourt and to the Government Archivist.
(2) It shall be the duty of the Attorney General and each of the officersreferred to in subsection (1) to maintain one set of the Laws and punctually toinsert pages authorised to be inserted under section 5(1) and to remove pagesdirected to be removed under section 5(2) and the Attorney General shall takesuch further steps as are necessary to ensure that there shall be at all timesavailable to the Courts and to the public sets of the Laws maintained in themanner provided by this subsection.
Bound sets of Laws to be kept for record.
10. (1) Such number of bound sets of the laws as originallypublished, as the Attorney General may think fit, shall be dated and signed bythe Attorney General and shall be sealed with the Public Seal of BruneiDarussalam.
(2) The Attorney General shall retain one set and shall cause one set to bedelivered to the Clerk of Councils, to the Registrar of the Supreme Court and tothe Government Archivist, and it shall be the duty of the Attorney General andof such officers to maintain in safe custody their respective sets together withthe Orders and supplementary pages referred to in subsection (3) for the purposeof record.
(3) Every year or at such other intervals as the Attorney General may think fit, such sets of all supplementary pages issued under section 7 or 8, all Notifications made under section 20(2) (a) and all pages issued under section 20(2) (b) shall be bound in such number of volumes as may be convenient and shall be dealt with in the same manner as the bound sets of the Laws as originally published are required to be dealt with by subsections (1) and (2).
Contents of Laws of Brunei.
11. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3) and to section 12, theLaws shall contain —
(a) The Constitution of Brunei Darussalam as in operation on the lastrevision date;
(b) every Act in opertation in Brunei Darussalam on the last revisiondate, unless omitted under section 12;
(c) such subsidiary legislation in operation in Brunei Darussalam on the last revision date as the Attorney General thinks fitto include therein;
(d) a chronological list of Acts, a table of contents and anindex;
(e) a list of the Acts omitted under the authority of sections 12(1) and 12(2).
(2) The Attorney General may include in the Laws suchconstitutional, legislative or other documents as may from time to time bespecified in the Schedule; and His Majesty shall have power by Order to amendthe said Schedule.
(3) The Attorney General may, by Order under section 5 authorise the inclusion in the Laws of a written law which has been made but not yet brought into operation on the last revision date of the Laws; and in relation to any such law the expression “in operation” in subsection (1) and in section 7(2), 8(2) and 14 means made, whether brought into operation or not.
(4) The Attorney General may include in the Laws such Acts of Parliament, Orders in Council, treaties, conventions and any other instrumentsand enactments which have been applied or extended to Brunei Darussalam with such indices, notes, references, notifications and adaptations as hemay consider useful.
Power to omit certain Laws.
12. (1) His Majesty may by Order authorise the Attorney General toomit from the Laws any Act specified in the Order.
(2) In addition to any Act omitted under subsection (1), the Attorney General may further omit from the Laws —
(a) any Appropriation Act or Supplementary Appropriation Act;
(b) any applied United Kingdom Act;
(c) any Act of a temporary nature which can in the opinion of the Attorney General be conveniently omitted.
Validity of laws not affected by omission from the Laws.
13. (1) No written law omitted from the Laws, under the authority ofthis Act or otherwise, shall be deemed to be without force and validity byreason only of the fact that it is so omitted.
(2) The repeal or omission from the Laws of any Act repealed or omittedduring and for the purpose of the preparation of the Laws shall not affect thevalidity of any existing resolutions of the Legislative Council, or anyproclamations, rules, regulations, orders, notifications, by-laws or otherinstrument having legislative affect and made under, or by virtue of any lawfulauthority conferred pursuant to any Act so repealed or omitted but such proclamations, rules, regulations, orders, notifications, by-laws, orother instruments, so far as they are not inconsistent with any written law forthe time being in force, shall continue in force until otherwise provided.
Laws of Brunei constitute proper Statute Book.
14. Subject to sections 13 and 16, and notwithstanding any provisionsof the Constitution of Brunei Darussalam or any written law requiring all written laws to be printed in both the Malay and English languages the pagesduly authorised for inclusion in the Laws shall, in all courts and for allpurposes, be the proper Statute Book of Brunei Darussalam in respect of thewritten laws contained therein as in operation on the last revision date; andall such written laws shall be judicially noticed.
Powers of Attorney General.
15. In the preparation of the Laws for any revision under section 7 or8, the Attorney General shall have the following powers —
(a) to omit —
(i) all written laws or parts of written laws which have been repealedexpressly or by necessary implication, or which have expired or have becomespent or have had their effect;
(ii) all repealing provisions contained in written laws and also all tablesor lists of repealed written laws whether contained in schedules orotherwise;
(iii) all words of enactment in any written law or provision of a writtenlaw;
(iv) all provisions prescribing the date when, or manner in which, anywritten law or part of any written law is to come into operation, where suchomission can, in the opinion of the Attorney General, conveniently bemade;
(v) all amending written laws or parts of written laws where theamendments effected by such written laws have been embodied by the AttorneyGeneral in the written laws to which they relate;
(b) to consolidate into one written law any 2 or more written laws in pari materia , making the alterations thereby rendered necessary inthe consolidated written laws, and affixing such date thereto as may seem mostconvenient;
(c) to alter the order of the provisions in any written law and, inall cases where it is necessary to do so, to renumber the provisions of anywritten law;
(d) to alter the form or arrangement of any provision of any writtenlaw, either by combining it in whole or part with another provision or other provision or by dividing it into 2 or more provisions or by transposingwords;
(e) to divide any written law, whether consolidated or not, into partsor other divisions and to give such parts or divisions suitable headings;
(f) to transfer any provisions contained in any written law from thatwritten law to any other written law to which it more properly belongs or to aseparate written law;
(g) to arrange the written laws, whether consolidated or not, in anygroup or sequence that may be convenient irrespective of the date ofenactment;
(h) to add a long title, a short title or a citation to any writtenlaw which may require it, and, where desirable, to alter the long title, shorttitle or citation of any written law;
(i) to shorten, simplify, clarify and otherwise alter the phraseology of any written law;
(j) to correct grammatical and typographical errors, or anyclerical or printing errors in any written law, and for the purpose to make verbal additions, omissions or alterations not affecting the meaning ofany written law;
(k) to add, delete, alter and substitute definitions of terms andexpressions in any written law;
(l) to supply or alter marginal notes, head notes or headings;
(m) to correct cross-references;
(n) to make such formal alterations as to names, localities,offices, titles, and otherwise as may be necessary to bring any written law intoconformity with the circumstances of Brunei Darussalam;
(o) to make such modifications and adaptations and to attach such qualifications and exceptions to any written law as may appear to be necessary or desirable by reason of changes in the Constitution of Brunei Darusssalam or of the constitutional status of Brunei Darussalam or of any Commonwealth territory or generally in the circumstances of Brunei Darussalam or in the Government or the Public Service thereof;
(p) to do all things relating to form and method which may benecessary for the perfecting of the Laws.
No power to make alterations of substance.
16. (1) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to confer power on the Attorney General to alter the substance of any written law.
(2) In any case where it appears necessary to the Attorney General to alterthe substance of any written law, the Attorney General may draft a Bill for thepurpose.
Revised laws not to operate as new laws.
17. The Laws shall not be held to operate as new laws, but shall beconstrued and have effect as a consolidation and as declaratory of the writtenlaws that have been revised and published therein.
Altered provisions authentic as if so enacted.
18. Where, having regard to any provisions of the Interpretation andGeneral Clauses Act (Chapter 4) the Attorney General has, in exercise of anypower conferred by this Act, reworded a written law by way of simplification orotherwise omitted any provision thereof, or altered any written law in any otherway, without affecting the substance thereof, the altered provisions of thewritten law published in accordance with this Act shall for all purposes bedeemed to be the authentic version of the written law as if they had beenenacted in that form.
Printing of separate written laws. [S 4/97]
18A. (1) The Attorney General may print and offer for sale to thepublic, at such price as he shall direct, copies of any written law; and suchcopies may incorporate any amendments made to that written law since the lastrevision date.
(2) Notwithstanding any contrary provision in this Act, such copies shallfor all purposes be deemed to be the authentic version of that written law.
Construction of references to laws embodied in the Laws.
19. Where in any written law or other instrument or document referenceis made to any written law the provisions of which have been by virtue of thisAct embodied in the Laws, such reference shall where necessary and practicablebe deemed to extend and apply to the corresponding provisions in the Laws.
Rectification of error or omission in the Laws.
20. (1) Where any error made in the publication of the Laws comes tothe attention of the Attorney General, the Attorney General shall forthwithrectify the error in the manner provided by this section.
(2) The Attorney General may rectify the error —
(a) by an Order (to be called a “Correction Order”) makingthe required amendments to the Laws; and (either alternatively or inaddition)
(b) by a Law Revision Order removing, inserting or replacing suchpages in the Laws as the circumstances may require.
(3) A Correction Order or a Law Revision Order made for thepurpose of rectifying an error may have retrospective effect as from the date ofthe inclusion in the Laws of the page containing the error.
(4) In this section an “error” means the publication by theAttorney General of a written law in a form not authorised by this Act, or theomission from the Laws of a written law which is required by this Act to bepublished in the Laws.
Alternative mode of amending Laws.
21. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 6(1), where the Attorney General thinks it expedient, in the interests of economy or convenience, in revising any page of the Laws to which an amendment has been made since the last revision date or to which the Attorney General proposes to make an amendment, the Attorney General may, as an alternative to incorporating the amendment in the Laws by removing the page and inserting in its place a page setting out the law as amended —
(a) allow the page to which the amendment relates (in thissection called the “amended page”) to continue to form part of theLaws; and
(b) include in the Laws a page (in this section called an “amendment page”) setting out the particulars of the amendment.
(2) The exercise of his powers under this section in respect of anamendment shall in no way prejudice the power of the Attorney General at any time to incorporate that amendment in the Laws by removing the amendedpage and inserting in its place a page setting out the law asamended.
(3) An amendment page shall for all purposes form part of the Laws and maybe dealt with in accordance with the provisions of this Act in the same manneras any other page of the Laws.
Coming into operation of the Laws.
22. His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan may by Notification inthe Government Gazette appoint a date for the coming into operation ofthe Laws.
Expenses of revision.
23. The expenses of and incidental to the preparation and publicationof the Laws shall be a charge on the Consolidated Fund.
CONSTITUTIONAL, LEGISLATIVE AND OTHER DOCUMENTS INCLUDED IN THE LAWS
Treaty of Friendship & Co-operation between Brunei Darussalam and the United Kingdom dated 7th January 1979
Continental Shelf Proclamation 1954 No. S.41 dated 30th June 1954
North Borneo (Definition of Boundaries) Order in Council, 1958. Statutory Instruments 1958 No. 1517 dated 11th September 1958
Sarawak (Definition of Boundaries) Order in Council, 1958. Statutory Instruments 1958 No. 1518 dated 11th September 1958