The Senate at its 8th day extraordinary sitting yesterday unanimously ratified and repealed several Acts, Protocols, and Treaties.
The Senate was scheduled to act on the passage and ratification of the documents last Thursday, but a motion was filed against the reading of the recommendations before plenary. This was because it was observed that the Committee on Foreign Affairs which should have been the lead committee was left out of the three that made up the joint committee. The committee included Commerce, Trade and Industry, and Judiciary.
In accordance with their Rules, the Senate last Thursday voted that Foreign Affairs take the lead as most of the documents for ratification deal with foreign organizations.
In the recommendation signed by a majority of members, the committee advised their colleagues to pass the instruments into law “with no prejudice.”
The documents contain several legislations sent to the Senate by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf recently for which she requested legislators to postpone their annual agriculture and constituency break for six weeks.
The Senate unanimously voted to repeal the Act Adopting a new copyright Law approved March 20, 2003, constituting title 24 of the Liberian Code of Laws, and enacted in their stead a New Title 24 to be known as the Liberia Intellectual Property Act 2014.
An Act ratifying the Agreement on the creation of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) was also adopted, as was an Act Ratifying the Protocol on Patents and Industrial Designs within the Framework of the African regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO); and an Act Ratifying the Patent Law treaty.
The Act ratifying the Swakopmund Protocol on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expression of Folklore of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO); the Act ratifying the Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate Access to Published Works for persons who are Blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled, together with the Act to ratify the Banjul on Marks were all adopted and passed into law.
The Acts have meanwhile been sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence. When concurred upon and signed into Hand Bills by President Sirleaf, the Acts will make both the copyright office and the Industrial Property Office more responsive and thereby help remove unwarranted bureaucracies and disjointed operations in order to establish an integrated and efficient Intellectual Property Regime for the country.
The signing of the ratifications, according to the committee, will further help promote economic development, efficiency in utilization of resources and effectiveness in the delivery of public services.
Meanwhile, members of the Legislature and the Executive Branch of Government yesterday signed the book of condolence for the fallen Lofa County Representative, Fofi Sahr Baimba in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building.
The Lofa County lawmaker who chaired the House Committee on Agriculture passed away recently in Monrovia following a brief illness.
The Minister of National Defense Brownie J. Samukai, Jr., who is currently serving as Acting President, and Vice President Joseph Boakai, both of whom hail from Lofa County, signed on behalf of the Executive.
The Speaker, Alex Tyler, Senate Pro Tempore, Armah Zolu Jallah, accompanied by an array of law makers from both Houses signed on behalf of the Legislature.