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Removal of Privy Council needs no referendum

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dear Editor,

It is ironic that Senator Arthur Williams, Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate, has said that the JLP will not agree to replace the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice without the agreement of the public through a referendum. It’s of note that the constitutional laws of Jamaica have no mandatory provision for a referendum and the Opposition is in agreement with the change, but there is no cry by the people for a referendum. Most either do not know of the Privy Council or have any access to it.

One of the principal features of our Constitution is representative democracy, and removal of the Privy Council has been cast on this principle, so that the people's representative may remove the Privy Council without a referendum. Chapter VII of the Constitution makes provision for creation of courts by Parliament, and the Common Law of Jamaica even provides for entrenchment by Parliament of judges of the Caribbean Court of Justice without a referendum.

Owen S Crosbie

Mandeville, Manchester


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