Opposition wants Gov't to change course

Opposition wants Gov't to change course

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

THE Opposition People's National Party (PNP) says it is not too late for the Government to change course in light of the judgement by the Supreme Court that the extended detention of individuals under the state of emergency (SOE) is unlawful.

According to Senator Donna Scott-Mottley, Opposition spokesman on justice, the Government should acknowledge the significance of the ruling of the court on the unconstitutionality of the detention orders under the SOEs and take immediate steps to discontinue the strategy in its present application.

“While we agree that the wanton slaughter of our citizens cannot continue unabated, any action taken to stem this scourge must be done in a manner which does not abridge the rights of citizens,” she stated.

“The detention of persons for extended periods without charge, some for more than a year, is unacceptable in a civilised and democratic society. We must find new ways to deal with the incidence of crime and violence across several communities,” Senator Scott-Mottley said.

The court, she added, has made it crystal clear that the Government's reliance on SOEs as the centrepiece of its public safety and crime-fighting strategy is at variance with the tenets of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, which provide comprehensive and effective protection for all people living in Jamaica.

Senator Scott-Mottley said for months the Opposition had tried unsuccessfully to impress upon the Government that a state of public emergency, as defined by the Constitution of Jamaica, was never intended to be used as a crime-fighting tool in the manner in which they were implemented.

“As an Opposition, we reluctantly continued to support parliamentary approval because the Government arrogantly refused to present a workable and appropriate alternative and we sought to avoid politicising the issue. We are, therefore, pleased with the decision of the court, confirming this view that the application of the SOEs is in violation of citizens' rights,” she said.

She added: “This public safety and crime-fighting strategy was flawed. Still, the Government persisted in its arrogance and detained hundreds of innocent citizens without cause, who were forced to seek redress, as they should, in the court.”

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon