Opposition’s view on 2019 police pre-charge proposal
The Holness administration has accused the parliamentary Opposition of rejecting the 2019 proposal for pre-charge detention. The Opposition says those claims are untrue.
Here is the Opposition’s counterclaim:
1. The context was the sittings of the joint select committee reviewing the anti-gang legislation.
2. Submissions were received from various interest groups, including the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Jamaica Defence Force, the Bar Association, among others
3. The JCF’s submission recommended amending the anti-gang legislation to provide for pre-charge detention.
4. The proposal was that pre-charge detention would have been initiated solely by the police in the first instance and reviewed daily by a justice of the peace after the first 48 hours. After seven days, it could be extended by a parish judge for another seven days.
5. The Opposition says it did not reject the police proposal but expressed scepticism that investigations could be completed within 14 days when persons were held under states of emergency for more than a year, ostensibly for similar purposes, yet no such charges were eventually laid. The Opposition also had concerns that seven days was too long a period to be detained before judicial review and suggested a maximum of two days.