Monday, January 22, 2018

Lewis's foolhardy convention

Local convention is that at Christmas time hunters come out openly because the law then permits hunting and that hunters beat around the bush before cutting to the chase.

Prof Theodore Lewis foraged through 758 words before uttering the 95-word point he really wanted to make: that it is alright for the President to take advice from the Opposition Leader on matters relating to the Cabinet.

I'm calling out Prof Lewis because I detest persons coming to tell us what we must think, without providing good evidence as to why we must heed them.

In his amazing commentary in the Express of December 28: "Charting the path to truth"), Theodore Lewis insists the President, has excellent cause (and solid legal underpinning) to haul the Prime Minister to court for "refusing to comply with the President's request", an offence, lately invented. He ignored cogent countervailing arguments he himself simultaneously professed.

The professor is clearly muddled over whether common law takes precedence over statute law and whether convention drives any or both. The mix-up leads him to contend in error that what obtains in England must obtain here. He overlooks the fact that, since 1976, we've done away with England, except in the case of finally settling certain court matters.

Convention makes law or breaks law since "convention" is "a pattern of behaviour established by practicability" and laws are born and followed of need. Thus, "need" is merely an emphatic way of saying "present convention requires" and "need", as we've seen, has led to persons quietly withdrawing their money before roofs caved in on colonial institutions and to lavish expenditure on "nappy" memorials to the south of "The Savannah", while leaving Theodore Lewis's proposed plaintiff's roof to cave in on the north-side.

The Constitution is supreme. Conventional knowledge of English leads me to believe it is. So, when the Constitution says (as Prof Lewis reminded us) the President can be removed from office before time, it's untenable for the professor to assert that, "at all costs, the Prime Minister and her government should seek to be on good terms with the President" …except the professor's eloquent fishing expedition was intended to advance the foolhardy convention that there's no such thing as a Trojan Horse?

Ayodele Chieng

Petit Bourg