Wilkinson to chair state of emergency tribunal
With the war against crime and violence being ramped up a notch in recent days with the declaration of a state of public emergency in
St James and the need for further protection afforded citizens under such emergency measures at the forefront of the discourse, on Tuesday, Parliament tabled The Emergency Powers Act.
The act is designed to make exceptional provision for the protection of the community in cases of emergency, with a tribunal, chaired by attorney-at-law Ian Wilkinson, set up to review cases of detention or restriction orders under regulations 22, 33, and 34 of the Emergency Powers Act.
Wilkinson, who is a former Bar Association president, is joined on the tribunal by David Henry, pastor of Swallowfield Chapel, and Retired Supreme Court Judge Lloyd Hibbert.
The tribunal will function under the auspices of the Ministry of National Security.
The aim of the Emergency Powers Review Tribunal is to facilitate the conduct of hearings of formal objections initiated by persons against whom detention orders have been made by the minister of national security under The Emergency Powers Act.
Three hundred and thirty-five persons were killed in Montego Bay, St James, last year, with 13 killed by gunmen in the tourist city since the start of the year.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has stressed that the security forces, while being firm in the execution of their duties, will act in accordance with the law in treating citizens with respect at all times.