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Part A: General Topics | 6. Repeal/Amendment of Prior Law & Savings Provisions

This topic may be addressed in the preliminary sections or the concluding sections of the law. Either way, it is critical that a new law is clear on the status of its provisions in relation to the preceding law and the impact of the current law on any obligations undertaken or rights obtained under the preceding law. Any guarantee of stability of provisions included in the prior law must be taken into account in addressing this topic.

When a new law only modifies a few provisions of an existing mining law, care must be taken to preserve the internal consistency of the law as modified, including the numbering of articles. The mining law as modified should be published in the Official Journal. And when a new law modifies an existing mining law extensively, it is advisable to incorporate both the unchanged provisions and the new provisions in the new law so that a single, internally cohesive text with consistently numbered articles replaces the prior law in its entirety, in order to facilitate understanding of the law as modified.

6. Example 1:

Article [_]

(1) The following enactments are repealed- (a) [Old Mining Law]; and (b) [Specified Related Enactments to Old Mining Law].

(2) Notwithstanding the repeal of the enactments referred to in subsection (1), any regulations made under the repealed enactments shall in so far as they are consistent with this [Law][Act][Code] continue in force as if they were regulations made under this [Law][Act][Code] until such time as they are revoked by the [Regulating Authority].

(3) Subject to subsections (4) of this Article, notwithstanding the repeal of the enactments referred to in subsection (1), any Mineral Right granted under any of those enactments and subsisting immediately before the commencement of this [Law][Act][Code] shall continue in force until expiration by passage of time.

(4) No Mineral Right granted prior to this [Law][Act][Code] shall be extended or renewed but where the prior granted Mineral Right provided a right to apply for a renewal or extension of the right, the holder of that Mineral Right may apply, subject to this [Law][Act][Code], for a similar type of license as provided for under this [Law][Act][Code] on a priority basis.

(5) Any act done, executed or issued under the repealed Law and in force and operative before the commencement of this [Law][Act][Code] shall, so far as it could have been done, executed or issued under this [Law][Act][Code] have effect as if done, executed or issued under this [Law][Act][Code].

(6) Any fund kept under the repealed Law shall be deemed to be part of a fund kept under the corresponding provision of this [Code][Act][Law].

Annotation

Drawn from Sierra Leone’s mining law (2009), this provision provides for the repeal of the old mining law and some related enactments, but retains in force, regulations made and other actions executed under the repealed laws provided they are not inconsistent with the new law. This is typically the case until new regulations are made to replace existing ones in order not to create a vacuum in administration of the law and ensure continuity.

Enactments related to the previous law which are not repealed, are preserved to the extent that they are consistent with the new law. Also typically, transitional provisions preserve the rights of existing mineral rights holders under the repealed law until the expiry of the rights or until they opt for similar rights under the new law. Such conversion applications are to be treated as priority cases.

6. Example 2:

Article [_]

(1) The [Old Mining Law] and all the amendments thereto are hereby repealed, and there is hereby enacted in lieu thereof, a [New Mining Law].

(2) Any regulations made under such repealed or amended laws shall apply only until such a time and to such extent as they are revoked by the [Regulating Authority].

(3) Upon the passage of this [Law][Act][Code] all existing agreements regarding Mineral Rights and related activities pursuant to the periodic review provisions of said agreements shall be subject to review by the [Relevant Authority] within a period of twelve (12) months so as to bring said agreements in compliance with the provisions of this [Law][Act][Code].

Annotation

Drawn from Liberia’s mining law (2000), this provision repeals the old law in totality. However, to ensure continuity it also requires that a state-designated entity conduct a review of previous mineral rights granted to bring them in conformity with the new law. This is justified under the review clause in existing mining agreements, or under theories of law that defend the right of the State to modify the legal environment of contracts if required for the public interest. When using a provision such as this, it is important to ensure that, if needed, the regulations are updated very quickly following the enactment of the new law. The legal regime is clearer when the new law states the legal status of regulations made under the repealed mining.