Bunting says criticisms of proposed DNA law 'not specific'
National Security Minister, Peter Bunting, says critics must be more specific when raising concerns about the potential of the recently tabled DNA legislation to violate citizen’s constitutional rights.
Some lawyers have suggested that the requirement under the proposed law for the taking of DNA samples from persons in detention could be in breach of the Constitution.
However Bunting says great effort has been taken to ensure that the proposed law does not violate the Constitution.
He points to a provision in the Bill which requires the presence of a Justice of the Peace to oversee the taking of samples from the mentally ill and children.
Bunting says countries with similar constitutional arrangements like Jamaica have comparable legislation and there is no fear that rights are being breached.
The National Security Minister has also dismissed a call from the Opposition for the Bill to go before a joint parliamentary committee.
He says that would further delay the implementation of the Bill, which has been outstanding for more than a decade.
The police, members of the legal fraternity and civil society groups have been calling for the implementation of the DNA laws as a tool to help with crime fighting.