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Vote in Parliament for replacement of Privy Council

Friday, August 03, 2012

Dear Editor,

In relation to the establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice, the Jamaica Observer of August 1, 2012 reported Shadow Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck as saying, "If we are going to be true to the Constitution of this country, let us sit and work it out; but don't try to ram this court down the throats of the people without their endorsement and approval." Yet from another corner of his mouth he is reported as saying that he saw no need for further discussions and that the JLP has given the people a commitment that there will have to be a referendum. Isn't this dictating to the people who have never asked for it?

What does Mr Chuck mean by being true to the Constitution and that the JLP has given the people a commitment that there will have to be a referendum? Is there a requirement in the Constitution for a referendum and is the JLP the government of this country, or is even known to the Constitution? In any case, why the commitment that there will have to be referendum when the people have not asked for this, knowing that the unnecessary cost will be boxing food out of hungry mouths?

I think there should be a conscience vote in both Houses of Parliament for the replacement of the Privy Council by the Caribbean Court of Justice; and we must be confident that there are sufficient right-thinking Opposition members who would vote for the replacement in the interest of public finance and the people.

Finally, isn't the call for referendum a contradiction when both sides in the people's Parliament agree that the court should be replaced? By the way, I think there are non-parliamentarians running the Opposition, as it continues under previous leadership to oppose the establishment of the court.

Let the Constitution and the law of this country prevail, and not the dictate of anyone who thinks that only white people must run things.

Owen S Crosbie

Mandeville, Manchester


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