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Renewed debate on separation of powers

Published:Tuesday | February 16, 2010 | 12:00 AM


JAMAICA'S LEGISLATURE has constantly failed to grasp the concept of separation of powers. This is evident from the recent utterances of National Security Minister Dwight Nelson. The minister is upset that the court granted bail to three citizens who were alleged to have been involved in a kidnapping incident.

The challenge arises when the minister told
The Gleaner
"that he has discussed the matter with Justice Minister and Attorney General Dorothy Lightbourne in the hope that she would have a serious talk with Chief Justice Zaila McCalla".

How can the attorney general influence the court's decision? The alleged kidnappers are citizens who deserve a fair trial and the executive and legislature should not influence the court's decision. The legislature must respect the decision of the courts.

Finally, I call upon the prime minister to organise a public lecture for the entire Parliament on the separation of powers and the rule of law.

I am, etc.,

Frank Hall