Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Boyne needs extra lessons

Published:Friday | January 20, 2017 | 1:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Ian Boyne is not relenting on his calls for curtailment of some of our rights in the interest of fighting crime. Mr Boyne's desire for a more crime-free society is admirably. However, he is misguided on the legality of his proposals.

In his article titled 'Pressure criminals, liberate communities', dated Sunday, January 15, 2017, Mr Boyne alluded to sections 18 and 49 of the Jamaican Constitution that use the phrase "demonstrably justified", in his ambitious quest to school lawyers and judges on logic and sentence analysis. Mr Boyne suggested that once the State can prove that it is "demonstrably justified", the rights of people can be abrogated. However, Mr Boyne failed miserably to demonstrate how breaching our human rights will be an instant solution for murders. The rights of our people ought not to be mere subjects of a layman's sophomoric opinion.

There is no shortage of law in Jamaica. The problem is enforcement of law. In circumstances where the police have reasonable information about the location of guns and contraband, the police don't need to breach any human right to conduct the necessary operation. The police have a plethora of authorities to stop and search vehicles once there is justification for doing so. Human rights protect people from state abuse; such rights are no barrier for policing.

Finally, I urge Mr Boyne to read Section 2 of the Jamaican Constitution meticulously before he attempts to challenge the judiciary on the subject of constitutional law. As it relates to the arrest of criminals, police can only arrest and charge after they have acquired the relevant evidence; they need help from the public in the form of witness statements.

GAWAN WALKER

UTech Law Student