PNP wants clarity on Gov’t’s plan for Privy Council
Deputy Leader of the People’s National Party (PNP) and Opposition Senator Donna Scott-Mottley says her party is extremely disappointed that the Government has placed discussion on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on the backburner. Mottley, who...
Deputy Leader of the People’s National Party (PNP) and Opposition Senator Donna Scott-Mottley says her party is extremely disappointed that the Government has placed discussion on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on the backburner.
Mottley, who is also a member of the Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC) now reviewing Jamaica’s Constitution, said discussion on the CCJ and whether the country would secede from the London-based Privy Council should form part of the current dialogue to change Jamaica’s supreme law.
“The Government has refused to indicate publicly whether this is because it intends or desires to remain with the Privy Council. We want that discussion to be brought forward,” Scott-Mottley said last Thursday during a Gleaner Editors’ Forum at the newspaper’s North Street offices in Kingston.
The leadership of the party fielded questions from Gleaner journalists on its upcoming 85th annual conference at the National Arena this weekend and other issues of national importance.
“The way in which the minister (Marlene Malahoo Forte) has outlined it is that she wishes to table a bill very soon – I will leave it to her to make her announcement in that regard – and then while the bill is tabled to discuss the issue of separation from the Privy Council and ascension to the Caribbean Court of Justice. That is totally unacceptable to the People’s National Party (PNP),” she contended.
Scott-Mottley, the opposition spokesperson on justice, said that while CRC talks are not proceeding at a pace that her party was comfortable with, there was a lot of energy and commitment from members on the committee.
She added, however, that she was not satisfied with the level of public engagement.
“I do not think that the consultations that we have had are satisfactory. I think that we are overlooking the need for public education, which is critical to being able to succeed in a referendum.”
Meanwhile, Scott-Mottley said the members of the CRC have not yet been advised of the budgetary allocation for the constitutional reform exercise.
She said an examination of the last budget that was tabled did not show any allocation made to the work of the constitutional reform committee.
“It makes me wonder whether any significant thought had gone into the whole process,” she added.