Attorney-General George Savvides and House President Annita Demetriou, discussed the need to replace old laws on quarantine and tackling fires with new, updated rules that will be more effective and with stricter fines.
The two met on Monday in a formal yet important meeting, according to Savvides, who said they examined a new legislation to tackle the problem of fires with stricter sentences.
He also said they discussed replacing the outdated Quarantine Law with a law for Contagious diseases which will still give the cabinet and the Health Ministry the right to issue decrees to avert the spread of diseases, like COVID-19 which developed into a pandemic. It will also allow citizens to resort to justice for violation of their personal rights and freedoms.
Savvides said the two discussed issues concerning cooperation between the House and the role of the Attorney-General and the Law Service.
“We have common views and we both believe that there should be closer contact between both sides”, the Attorney-General added.
We discussed some laws which we believe need to be amended and the House leader agrees, and we are ready, to take part in a meeting with House political party leaders to discuss and improve the relationship between the Law Service and the House of Representatives, the AG added.
The Attorney General said they discussed ways for burns to be treated as a serious criminal offence which will be punished in a very severe way, just like crimes related to hunting are punished, with fines of up to several thousands of euro. This will be done to tackle the root of the problem, so that no burning will be allowed and offenders are punished regardless of their actions causing fire or not.
He also said the Quarantine Law which plays a very significant role in preventing and combatting COVID-19 needs to be improved, updated and be replaced with the contagious diseases law that was already approved by the Cabinet last week and will be taken before the House. This law gives the Cabinet or the Health Ministry the right to issue decrees to restrict the spread of contagious diseases.
Regarding the fines which the new law will provide, he said they will be very serious, according to the size of each business.
I believe they are satisfactory and quite dissuasive adding that if a business continues to violate the law, the fines will increase and the Police Chief will have the right to issue a decree to close down the business.
On her part, Speaker Demetriou told reporters about the imperative need to have a unified legislative framework for issues which deal with fires, adding that a meeting will be held over the weekend between the Attorney-General and the relevant ministries and at 1900 on Monday a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades.
She said there are many laws, different legislations which need to be under the same umbrella.
Whatever takes to be effective and useful we will do that immediately, she added.