Thu | Feb 27, 2020

Letter of the Day | Don't give additional powers to INDECOM

Published:Wednesday | March 21, 2018 | 12:00 AM


Now that the appeal court has ruled on the case of the Police Federation et al v INDECOM et al, there have been calls from many quarters to amend the law to give INDECOM explicit powers of arrest, charge and prosecution.

There was never any doubt for me that INDECOM was established to investigate and that their findings be handed to the director of public prosecutions (DPP) for a determination.

Although I support the work of INDECOM, the act creating that body was flawed; it should have been made clear that they have no such powers that they purported to have.

Furthermore, to say that INDECOM officials had the powers of a constable was the door that INDECOM opened and used to circumvent the DPP, when cases did not move as fast as it wanted. Perhaps INDECOM crossed and stayed beyond that thin line between diligence and overzealousness.


Simple logic


Had the Supreme Court pronounced that INDECOM was not a juristic person, it would have most likely obviated going to the Court of Appeal, thus saving judicial time. Common sense tells me that if Paula Llewellyn can stop any proceedings, being DPP, it means that only she should authorise such proceedings a simple logic that the learned judges could not see.

To give INDECOM such powers "... in part to ensure that that agency is not constrained by the pace at which any other body may act..." as the Gleaner editorial, Monday, March 19, 2018 asserts is to create a parallel DPP, and contemporaneously have Llewellyn having such constitutional power to thwart their proceedings, is to create an Animal Farm environment, which would be untenable and risible.

The genesis of this litigation resulted from low productivity due to, inter alia, inadequate resources at the offices of the DPP. The court has now closed the door INDECOM used to accelerate its cases. The effect of this ruling may be a pile-up of INDECOM cases, if resources are not improved at the Office of the DPP.

Creating parallel bodies to compensate for lack of resources in existing bodies is not the solution.


Brampton, Ontario