Somaliland Public Order & Security Laws
Public Order and Security Law 2012
The new Somaliland Maintenance of the Public Order and Security Law (Xeerka Ilaalinta Anshaxa iyo Nabadgelyada Guud) - Law No. 51/2012 came into force on 7 April 2012. The Law repeals the 1963 Public Order Law - Law No 21 of 26 August 1963 but reproduces many of its provisions relating to public order. [ See here for a background article about how the 1963 Law was used, together with the 1980s legislation relating to Security Committees, see this Article. Security committees with extra judicial powers are no longer in operation in Somaliland since July 2010 when the current President was elected and the Security Committees under this new 2012 Law have no such powers].
The new Somaliland Maintenance of the Public Order and Security Law consists of a preamble and 46 articles. A list of the headings of all the provisions of the Law (below) should give a flavour of its wide contents.
Somaliland Maintenance of the Public Order and Security Law Law No. 51/2012
Came into Force: 07 April 2012 (Pres. Decree No. 0226/042012)
PART 1: GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1 Definitions
Article 2 Title of the Law
Article 3 Interpretation of the Law
Article 4 Scope of the Law
Article 5 Membership of the National Security Committees
Article 6 Duties & powers of the National Security Committees
Article 7 Reinforcements for the activities of the Police Force
Article 8 Arrest of persons suspected of posing a danger to the national security
Article 9 Other powers of the National Security Committee
PART 2: PUBLIC ORDER AND APPROPRIATE CONDUCT
Article 10 Public assemblies
Article 11 Religious ceremonies and funerals
Article 12 Prohibition to carry weapons at public assemblies
Article 13 Dispersal of public assemblies
Article 14 Procedures for dispersing public assemblies
PART 3: PREVENTION OF ACCIDENTS AND DISASTERS
Article 15 Manufacture of explosives, poisons which pose dangers to the peace of the society
Article 16 Export and Import of substances mentioned in Article 16
Article 17 Destruction of poisons and other dangerous substances
Article 18 Explosions of dangerous artificial fireworks
Article 19 Fires
Article 20 Noisy industries
Article 21 Infringements of the provisions of this Part
PART 4: LICENSED PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT VENUES, PROFESSIONS AND COMMERCE
Article 22 Theatrical performances and Cinemas
Article 23 Committee for the licensing of theatrical performances and film shows
Article 24 Sports competitions
Article 25 Supervision of sports events and shows
Article 26 Opening of public entertainment venues
Article 27 Engagement of Children under 15 in films and plays
Article 28 Inspection and supervision of public activities
Article 29 Gambling
Article 30 Register of hotels and rented houses
Article 31 Infringements of the provisions of this Part.
PART 5: PROTECTION OF YOUNG CHILDREN
Article 32 Street Children
Article 33 The conduct of the offspring and the responsibilities of the parents
Article 34 Neighbourly tranquillity and the responsibilities of Akils
PART 6: REGISTRATION OF ASSOCIATIONS AND FIRMS
Article 35 The responsibilities of associations and firms
Article 36 Dissolution of associations
PART 7: MAINTENANCE OF THE SECURITY AND PREVENTATIVE MEASURES
Article 37 Surety for good conduct and conditional release
Article 38 Procedures for bonds and for conditional release
Article 39 Contravention of the bond conditions
Article 40 Prevention of criminal offences
PART 8: PRIVATE GUARDS
Article 41 Authorisation of private guards
Article 42 Badges of private guards
Article 43 Possession of the badges of the armed Forces
PART 9: STATE OF EMERGENCY AND STATE OF WAR
Article 44 State of emergency
Article 45 State of war
PART 10: FINAL PROVISIONS
Article 46 Regulations
Article 47 Repeals
Article 48 Coming into force
MORE ON THIS LAW ... to follow...
The 2012 Law and the Penal Code
This new 2012 Law is a special law dealing specifically with public order and security issues. Under Article 13 of the 1962 Penal Code states that where the provisions of two criminal penal laws cover the same issue, the provisions of the special law shall prevail over the general law. The provisions of the more general enal Code, includes both crimes and contraventions against the public order. The crimes unusually carry fines and imprisonment of one to 5 years and the contraventions fines and/or prison for up to one year. If any of these matters are also covered by the 2012 Law, the latter shall prevail. For example, under Article 31 of the 2012 Law infringements of the provisions relating to the licensing of public performances venues is punishable by 3 to 6 months imprisonment or a fine of 3 million shillings. Article 519 to 521 of the Penal Code also deal with public performances and entertainments and in these cases unless they raise anything which is not covered by Articles 22 to 26 and 28 of the new 2012 Law, the Penal Code provisions will be superseded by the 2012 Law provisions.
The crimes against public order in the Penal Code are covered in Articles 320 to 328 and are:
- Instigation to delinquency.
- Instigation to disobey laws.
- Association for the purpose of committing crimes.
- Devastation and pillage.
- Intimidation of the public by means of explosive materials.
- Intimidation of the public.
- Giving false alarm to authorities.
- Publication or circulation of false or tendentious news capable of disturbing public order.
The Contraventions against public order and public tranquillity are covered in Article 505 to 523 and are:
- Failure to obey orders of the public authorities.
- Refusal to give particulars of one’s identity.
- Refusal to lend assistance in a Riot.
- Formation of armed bodies not intended for the commission of offences.
- Seditious Cries and cries and manifestations.
- Seditious assembly
- Cries or news capable of disturbing public or private tranquillity
- Disturbing the occupations or the repose of individuals.
- Molestation or disturbance of individuals.
- Abusing the credulity of the public.
- Wrongful exercise of typographical art.
- Wrongful sale, distribution or posting of papers or drawings.
- Destruction or defacement of posters.
- Unauthorised or prohibited business agencies and public trading concerns.
- Public performances or entertainments without licence.
- Wrongful performance of acts intended for reproduction by the Cinematograph.
- Wrongful theatrical or cinematographic performances.
- Wrongful exercise of itinerant callings.
SEE PUBLIC SAFETY LAW PAGE ON LAWS RELATING TO SMALL ARMS AND MINES