Thu | Oct 18, 2018

Mr Robinson's twisted logic

Published:Monday | February 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM


I do not understand the assertion of Gordon Robinson ('Attorney general out of order', Sunday Gleaner, February 15, 2015): "Let me assure you, 'the Government of Jamaica' is not found in Parliament but consists of the Cabinet ... and civil service."

He goes on with the assertion that executive authority is vested in the Cabinet as "the principal instrument of policy ..." and concludes that the Houses of Parliament are not part of the Government of Jamaica.

I have always understood that the executive is, as he concedes, an "instrument of policy" - not the principal policymaker-- and that its function is to "execute" policies that are enunciated in laws enacted by a legislature. In the absence of the Houses of Parliament, where does the executive (Cabinet) find the policies that it is instructed to execute? Whatever policymaking the Cabinet performs must be consistent with these laws (as may ultimately be interpreted by the courts).

Mr Robinson even refers to the separation of powers. If the Houses of Parliament are not part of the Government of Jamaica, where are these powers that it is necessary to separate?

By taking selective quotations out of context, and misconstruing a few words or phrases such as "instrument of policy", Mr Robinson appears to have given a completely distorted picture of the structure and function of this nation's Government.