After 60 years the Nauruan Births Deaths and Marriages (BDM) Act of 1957 has been repealed. The new act enters into force in February 2018. The purpose of the new bill is to update the law and to cater for issues not covered in the BDM Act of 1957.
Nauruan president Baron Waqa said with regard to the new bill: “It covers a number of matters that will augment the functions of the Births, Deaths and Marriages registry. It will ensure that the registry continues to be the trusted custodian of the life event records held by it. It will also ensure that the Republic has correct and up to date records”
Among the most important changes are:
- The registrar’s responsibilities and that separate registers will be maintained was not explicitly stated in the old act. Now, the functions of the registrar were specified, which are to establish and maintain a separate register for: births, deaths, stillbirths, marriages, adoptions, change of names and national identity codes.
- This national identity codes will be newly established; the cabinet still needs to decide on regulations for national identity codes.
- With the new act the director of Medical Services will have the responsibility to notify the registrar of a child’s birth at a hospital in Nauru within 7 days. And if a person dies in a Nauruan hospital, the director of Medical Services shall notify the registrar immediately after the death.
- If a foreign child is born in Nauru and both parents are foreigners, the parents may register the birth of the child in Nauru, which was not provided for by the old act.