More details needed on Special Zones legislation – attorney
Constitutional attorney Dr Lloyd Barnett, says more details are needed on the Special Zones of Operations legislation which is about to be enacted.
Speaking on Independent Talk on Power 106 FM this morning, Barnett said pertinent details on what will obtain in areas declared special zones of operation under the soon to be enacted law are not clear to the public.
He says this needs to be addressed to prevent abuse of citizens' rights.
The noted constitutional attorney says, as it is now, the Special Zones of Operation legislation is very general and bears little specifics on how it will be implemented and function.
Barnett says the constitutionality of actions carried out under the new law may have weak legs to stand.
He says the soon to be enacted law bears similarity to the controversial Suppression of Crimes legislation that was introduced in 1974 and had to be repealed in 1993.
Barnett says without the reform component that involves social intervention for the people and communities in designated Special Zones of Operation, the current anti-crime thrust will not be successful.
The legislation represents the latest response from the Government to quell the spiralling murder rate, which has left many Jamaicans cowering in fear.
It is expected that the governor general will in a matter of days affix his signature to the bill, which will then be gazetted, paving the way for the Andrew Holness administration to implement the law.
Meanwhile, Barnett says the move to train members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) in human rights is a good one.
He says this will be important since the Special Zones of Operation will involve increased interaction between the JDF and citizens.