Guided by change...Tuesday, March 31, 2020
In my opinion piece, 'Take heed, Madam Attorney General', published in the Jamaica Observer on March 30, 2020, I made reference to the Jamaica Constitution section 26 (4) Public Emergency... “which is issued upon the governor general being satisfied... that a public emergency has arisen as a result of the occurrence of any earthquake, hurricane, flood, fire, outbreak of pestilence, outbreak of infectious disease or other calamity, whether similar to the foregoing...” However, I was reliably informed by my learned friend, Isat A Buchanan, that section 26 (4) of the constitution has been repealed and was replaced by section 20 (1) found in chapter 3 of the updated 2011 amendment:
20 (1) In this chapter “period of public emergency” means any period during which constitutional provisions: Declaration of a State of Emergency:
a) Jamaica is engaged in any war; or
b) there is in force a proclamation by the governor general declaring that a state of public emergency exists; or
c) there is in force a resolution of each House supported by the votes of a majority of all the members of that House declaring that democratic institutions in Jamaica are threatened by subversion.
20 (2) A proclamation made by the governor general shall not be effective for the purposes of subsection (4) of this section unless it is declared therein that the governor general is satisfied:
(c)that a period of public disaster has arisen as a result of the occurrence of any earthquake, hurricane, flood, fire, outbreak of pestilence, outbreak of infectious disease or other calamity whether similar to the foregoing or not.”
I therefore wish to apologise for any inconveniences caused by quoting from an older copy of the constitution, and to encourage other citizens, like myself, who have concerns about the actions of the Government of Jamaica, and in the safeguarding of our human rights, to read the Constitution of Jamaica alongside the 2011 amendments, that now appears as chapter 3 in updated copies of the said constitution.
Dudley C McLean II
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