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Senate passes video evidence and eGazette Bills

Senators have approved a Bill that will allow the Government to switch to an online version of its official gazette.

Government reform minister Lovitta Foggo told the House of Assembly this month that the move away from newspaper advertising would remove an “administrative burden” that cost taxpayers $319,000 a year.

The Interpretation Amendment Act 2018 passed without opposition in the House of Assembly on May 18 and also got bipartisan support in the Upper Chamber yesterday.

One Bermuda Alliance senator Andrew Simons said he was a “huge supporter” of the legislation but asked that the notices be published in a “machine-readable” or plain text form to make it easier for the information to be retrieved using search engines.

Once the legislation comes into effect, official gazette notices will be posted on the government portal at www.gov.bm.

Senators also passed the Evidence (Audio Visual Link) Act 2018 yesterday, which will make it possible for vulnerable witnesses to give evidence and be cross-examined remotely during court cases.

Attorney-General Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Government Senate Leader, said it would also cut costs by allowing overseas witnesses to give live testimony without having to travel to the island.

Independent senator Michelle Simmons said the legislation was welcome as it would make it much easier for vulnerable witnesses, including children, to give their evidence in a comfortable environment, rather than an intimidating one.

Attorney-General Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Government Senate Leader

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Published May 31, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated May 31, 2018 at 10:12 am)

Senate passes video evidence and eGazette Bills

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