Thursday, 30 July 2020
Civil Law and Criminal Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages
I will not delay. There is a major contradiction in this Bill. Everything we are doing is supposed to be about the pandemic, yet the Minister is introducing measures which have nothing whatsoever to do with the pandemic, and she said as much in her speech.
It is worth pointing out what the Bill will do. Sections 12 and 13 will allow assignees to loans, commonly known as vulture funds, to rely on what would otherwise be inadmissible hearsay evidence when seeking summary judgments of money or property. Summary judgments happen in situations where a normal process is not in place and witnesses are not present and are not called. That is the problem. People can lose their properties and livelihoods, and can have significant financial judgments made against them when a particular type of documentary evidence can be used, which would normally be considered hearsay and inadmissible. That is a difficulty in the Bill, and we need to deal with that difficulty.