We should applaud Govt's quick action on Section 34
The debate in the Parliament on the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) (Amendment Bill) was completed almost one week ago and we can all now breathe a sigh of relief.
We must express our gratitude to this Government for exercising itself in a most transparent and accountable manner.
I was proud to see, on recognising an error in judgment was made, the entire clause was repealed and not just amended. This is the type of leadership for which I voted.
I followed the debate in the Senate quite closely and I wish to categorically state the Attorney General's explanation from his wind-up on the bill is completely laudable. It was late in the night and I highly doubt the majority of the population could have been privy to his convincing arguments.
From the newspapers during the week, I gleaned there were reports of the fiasco being deemed a "political conspiracy" by the Government. However, the fact that five of the Independent senators did not vote for the repeal of Section 34 is what, in my humble opinion, could be construed as political conspiracy because is it that they wished Ish Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson to walk free?
The new law reflects the deliberate will and intention of the Parliament. This is why I must then ask those Independent senators voting against on September 13, 2012—what would have happened in January when the entire Act was proclaimed, including Section 34? What would have happened when people started to make applications under Section 34 at that time? Would it be termed a political conspiracy then? By whom?
These five senators obviously did not have the best interests of the country at heart.
Further, the infrastructure promised by the Ministry of Justice is inconsequential to the arguments proposed because of the January 2013 proclamation date.
At the conclusion of the Parliamentary debate, the entire legal fraternity should have been plunged into a celebratory mood and applaud the Government for its quick action in repealing Section 34.
We as a people should condemn the actions of the Opposition and Independent benches of the Parliament playing cheap politics with serious issues such as these in an attempt to delude the population.
On another note, at the opening of the law term, Chief Justice Ivor Archie also commented on the issue that the Judiciary "had never discussed or contemplated partial implementation" of the legislation. As far as I am aware, these matters ought not to be discussed with the Judiciary, lest we trample onto our sacred principles of the separation of powers.
Jennilyn Le Blanc