Mon | Sep 26, 2016

Remember the laws of the land

Published:Wednesday | March 10, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Christopher 'Dudus' Coke

The Editor,
Sir:

As I see it, observance of and respect for the rule of law are pillars of democracy and freedom, which mankind in general, particularly those of us in the Western world cherish most dearly. Yet, it is surprising and shocking that, in the case of Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, so many people, including notoriously respected intellectuals and opinion leaders though acknowledging that the Government in denying the extradition is on safe legal grounds, are insisting that the matter should not be determined by the Govern-ment but by the courts.

Perhaps they should all be reminded that the law touching and concerning extraditions says that it is the politician who has the first and last word as to whether or not a person is to be extradited and not the courts. A political/quasi judicial decision is vested in the Attorney General who is the senior lawyer in this country. Quasi judicial decision because like any judge of the superior court or judges of the Privy Council, decision may be arrived at by them on paper only and that is exactly what the Attorney General has done and would have communicated same to the foreign State.

Quite appropriate

Another concern is that the prime minister makes announcements on the matter in Parliament. This is quite correct, because it is the convention of the Constitution that the prime minister speaks to the nation from Parliament on matters of general public interest as in the current case. In this connection, the Constitution is like a skeleton and convention flesh, like love and marriage; you can't have one without the other.

For Heaven's sake let the rule of law prevail and nothing else.

By the way, those who believe America would ever do Jamaica anything because of our prime minister's unfortunate grand standing, forget it. Jamaica and America are essentially one and we could properly describe ourselves as 'Jamericans'.

I am, etc.,

Owen S. Crosbie

Attorney-at-law

Mandeville, Manchester