Sun | Jun 24, 2018

Disingenuous Holness

Published:Saturday | January 5, 2013 | 12:00 AM


WHERE GREY areas exist in the interpretation of a law, as in the present case of the Office of Contractor General's (OCG) jurisdiction and powers, the courts are the proper place to seek a resolution. So to hear the Opposition Leader refer to the impasse as "untenable" is, indeed, a disingenuous stance.

The only extreme position is that taken by the OCG to ignore the process before the court and involve the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in a matter that is already before the court! Needless to say, this act will consume precious DPP resources and time to deal with this referral.

It is remote that internationally this impasse, as Holness asserts, will have any negative effect because in the international community it is accepted that interpretation of law is the purview of the courts. Certainly, they don't expect government officials to behave as has happened in the recent Dudus extradition matter.

Blind to the real issue

Holness is willfully blind to the real issue before the court for resolution: the scope of the OCG's jurisdiction. The court is not asked to limit or weaken the OCG's power; it is asked to declare the scope under the existing act and make a ruling on the specific course of action the OCG wants to pursue. How can Parliament redefine that which is before the courts, as Holness suggests?

If it is at all possible, wouldn't that create a vicious circle? Any student with a basic knowledge of civics would find this suggestion risible! Further, if the court were to rule in favour of the Government on aspects of a law which was introduced by the Seaga administration in 1986, would Holness 'run wid it'?

Holness is being strictly political in the matter of the OCG and seems to have a problem with reality —wanting to formulate government policy on investment and development.

Perhaps it's the anniversary of his defeat acting on him.