Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Changing laws isn't T20 cricket

Published:Friday | July 27, 2018 | 12:00 AM


The Gleaner's editorial titled 'Stop procrastinating over more judges' (Tuesday, July 24, 2018) is somewhat disingenuous. For the editorial writer to give the impression that an amendment to the Constitution "could be written in a few minutes" reveals the obvious ignorance of the author, like so many others.

As minister in charge of legislation, the process is tedious, challenging and sensitive. Even the most minor of changes to a statute, much less the Constitution, requires careful scrutiny in a lengthy process through at least three or four government agencies - the relevant ministry, the Cabinet, the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, the attorney general chambers, back and forth, before it comes to me at the Legislation Committee, then to Cabinet again, and finally to Parliament.

For the past two years, I have been working steadfastly to have the change in the Constitution to use retired judges. After getting a final draft, the Court of Appeal decided that retired judges had no jurisdiction to deliver delayed judgments. The legislation had to be re-examined to take into account that decision.

Fortunately, the latest draft seems ready to come to the Legislation Committee, and, if approved, will be laid in Parliament shortly.


Minister of Justice