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Daily Archives: January 24, 2008

Laws concerning pets to be stipulated

While pets are considered to be man's best friend, however, owners must make sure they will not be a nuisance to their neighbours.

Recently, residents have complained about the disturbance and inconvenience brought about by pet dogs. In response to this, the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau said that if pet owners neglected the needs of their pets or did not take on their responsibilities as pet owners, they were subject to violation of laws. Nuisance caused by pets could be negotiated through the interference of laws.

There had been continual complaints about disturbances caused by pet dogs kept by neighbours.  The pets were either not taken good care of or left in abandoned flats or balconies. The neighbours of such flats were reportedly fed up with the disturbances. As these matters occurred in private buildings, the government was in a difficult position to interfere. Lately, the concerned committees had a meeting with the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau, hoping that laws would be established to address this problem.

The  Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau have already drafted a "law of pet ownership", listing the kinds of animals that could be kept as pets and the rights of animals. Those who violate the law are subject to punishment. Violation of animal rights include negligence and animal abuse among others. Fines of such violation could be as high as 10,000 patacas. As pet disturbances usually take place in residential buildings, the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau hope that once laws concerning these problems are stipulated, it would be effective in relieving the situation.

Macau needs to keep up international standards

by Sara Farr

 

Macau's legal system needs to continue keeping up with international standards and conventions in order to fight crime and money laundering, local university professor Jorge Godinho, said yesterday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the second day of the three-day string of seminars hosted by the Legislative Assembly on the "Early Days of Law and Citizenship of the Legislative Assembly of Macau – Criminal Procedural Law – Present State and Prospects of Evolution,” University of Macau professor Godinho said that with all types of crime “improving” in recent times, the legal system solution in Macau was good but needed to continue keeping up with international standards.

Professor Godinho lectured on the strategies to combat property crime as well as the current state in the Macau Special Administrative Region.

“Fighting crime cannot be done at any cost, there are limits in the State Law,” Mr Godinho said, adding that there are “excesses that should be avoided, at least in practice.”

This evolutionary process in crime, which has occurred in the past two decades not only in the territory but around the world too, as well as terror threats after September 11, has seen Macau updating its laws.

 

Consequences

As such, Macau now participates in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF/GAFI), which is an inter-governmental body whose purpose is the development and promotion of national and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

With it, and as a consequence of the Delta Asia Bank case, in April 2006 Macau adopted international measures based on the common law of the 1988 Vienna Convention, in order to fight crime.

Mr Godinho said in his lecture that legislators in Macau were forced to review the SAR's interventions on money laundering, once in 1997, when a crime wave lingered in Macau, and then in 2006, with the Delta Asia Bank, two incidents which would see the world focus its eyes on Macau.

Although Portugal adopted the text in the Vienna Convention almost in its entirety, Macau chose to repeal one of the articles on organised crime, and instead of having it under the Penal Code, chose to have it as an “extravagant law.”

“We can say that the 2006 version of the law, which is currently in place, contains various adjustments and detailed improvements in relation to the 1997 text,” Mr Godinho said, adding that however, it was still close to the Vienna Convention's common law.

“In Macau, the law is supposed to contain clear definitions, and this is the legislator's job. No law… should contain unclear limits which can then be applied irregularly or uncertainly,” he added.

Mechanisms on finding and detecting money laundering first started in the financial sector, and was later imposed on the gaming sector, auditors, lawyers and businessmen.

However, it's clear that with regulating money laundering, more people get employed, the so-called compliance officers, who will use information and technology to detect suspicious transactions as well as people under sanctions, Mr Godinho said.

The international community is taking a risk-based approach on money laundering issues. Approaches which are justified and necessary, according to Mr Godinho, as money laundering is a solid political crime within the global finance market.

“Macau has a very open and liberal economy, and a growing economy, and is under a gaming jurisdiction of high importance,” Mr Godinho said, adding that it is important for Macau to continue implementing international patterns to prevent criminal repression through finance.

If Macau does not comply with international laws and conventions, the SAR could face international pressures, Mr Godinho added.

 Still on today

Also lecturing yesterday were professor Chen Guangzhong who discussed  the perspectives on some issues related to the review of the new Criminal Procedure Law of the Peoples' Republic of China, while professor Amanda Whitfort gave an introduction to criminal proceedings in Hong Kong and spoke on the role of the instruments of international law.

Professor Wladimir Brito spoke on the status of the international prosecutor in the international criminal process, while Dr Cardinal Paulo spoke on the fragments around the constitution, criminal procedure Macau and the principle of continuity to the principle of human dignity, while Professor Manuel da Costa Andrade on the prohibitions of evidence in criminal proceedings-concepts and general principles and the Portuguese experience.

Also lecturing in the three-day event yesterday was professor Yi Yanyou, on the privilege to prevent the self-incrimination in criminal proceedings, and Dr Ian Lao Chi on the prosecutor and the scheme summary of prosecution, as well as local lawyer Pedro Redinha who lectured on the lawyer vis-à-vis the criminal proceedings in Macau, while John Gil de Oliveira, on 'the judge in criminal proceedings-contribution to the strengthening of legitimacy'.

Today, professor Zhao Guoqiang will speak on the judicial co-operation within criminal interregional of China under the principle "one country, two systems,” while "Research Fellow" at the Oxford University, Jorge Menezes de Oliveira will speak on the criminal Justice and the judiciary focusing on the example of "Abuse of Process" of the English law.

Dr Li Han Lin will speak on the rights of victims and the rights of defendants in criminal proceedings, while Professor Germano Marques da Silva will speak on the criminal proceedings in Macau and prospects for reform in the beginning of the 21st century and new challenges.

The seminars are open to anyone wanting to join, between 3pm and 7:30pm, at the Legislative Assembly.

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