The power to stop and search

Saturday, July 06, 2013

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Dear Editor,

All public servants, including the police, must exercise their duty in a reasonable manner because they were not employed to act unreasonably in dealing with the public. And so any act which is unreasonable is unlawful and so beyond the power of the public servant. That is what in substance the judgment of His Lordship Mr Justice Batts pronounced as the law of the land which is binding on all except superior courts such as the Court of Appeal and the Privy Council. Both, I guarantee, will follow that law, which has been in effect in all democratic and civilised countries and the law propounded by the Privy Council itself.

Some members of the force, out of ignorance or arrogance, in punishable contempt of the judgment, continue to say that they will continue to stop and search. The judgment did not say that police must cease to stop and search; the judgment says they must do so in accordance with the law, especially the law of the Constitution of Jamaica which is the supreme law of the land regardless of which statutes give power to stop and search.

Owen S Crosbie






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