LEADER of Opposition Business in the Senate Pennelope Beckles-Robinson has again called for Government to look at the "marathon" sessions of Parliament as they could be affecting the performance of Parliamentarians.
"We are not willing to accept as adults that it increases the chances of making mistakes and ignoring very important pieces of legislation," she said.
She noted after sitting for 13 and 14 hours and then "patting oursleves on the back" for passing legislation they would then have to return to repeal and amend due to serious errors that had been made.
"Very often we see people falling asleep on themselves, dribbling on themselves," she pointed out.
Beckles-Robinson recalled that during one of the marathon sessions during the State of Emergency last year Independent Senator Corinne Baptiste-McKnight had to drive home on the empty streets and got a flat tire.
She said the long session for the budget was an exception but it was happening too often for other pieces of legislation. She noted that if Parliamentarians do not care about themselves, as they did not seem to, they should avoid these long hours out of consideration for the Parliament staff.
Beckles-Robinson made the appeal while contributing to debate last Friday on The Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) (Amendment) Bill, 2012 during a special session of Parliament held at Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain.
She said a number of lawyers in Arima and other people had questioned why she voted for the bill and the controversial Section 34.
She explained that having seen personally the long delays of cases as a practising lawyer she had hoped it would help address the backlog as Justice Minister Herbert Volney had promised.
She noted she had also believed that Section 34 formed part of the consultations with stakeholders in the Judiciary but now it was being revealed that a number of stakeholders, including Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard and the Criminal Bar Association, had not been consulted on this part of the legislation.
Beckles-Robinson said that since she had been in Parliament since 1995 there were only two occassions she had been asked why she voted for a piece of legislation: the Anti-Gang legislation and the Indictable Proceedings bill.
Both of these pieces of legislation were brought by the current administration.