Mon | Jan 17, 2022

Lewin sets the record straight

Published:Thursday | December 2, 2021 | 12:07 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

I refer to my letter published in your newspaper on Monday November 29. I stated that Chief Justice Kenneth Smith found the declaration of the 1976 state of emergency to be illegal, but not corrupt. I further went on to suggest that the recent states of emergency may elicit a similar finding.

I wish to categorically withdraw both assertions and set the record straight. The relevant finding of the then chief justice is as set out hereunder:

“The constitutional authority for advising the declaration of a state of public emergency is vested in the Cabinet. The uncontradicted evidence before me was that the Robinson affair influenced the decision to advise the declaration of the 1976 state of public emergency in one respect only, namely, the date on which the declaration should be made. An explanation was given for the decision being influenced in this respect. There was no valid reason before me for doubting this evidence. Though the bringing forward of the date was intended to have a direct effect on the proceedings at the JLP conference being held at the same date, the ultimate objective was stated to be for the general public benefit. There is, therefore, no valid ground for finding that the decision of Cabinet was in any sense a corrupt use of authority.”

This matter requires no further comment from me, save to thank the keen reader who brought the actual finding of the enquiry to my attention.

HARDLEY LEWIN