Wed | Jun 23, 2021

Why seek referendum?

Published:Saturday | June 30, 2012 | 12:00 AM


Is it ironic that Senator Arthur Williams, leader of opposition business in the Senate, has stated that the Opposition will not agree to replace the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) without the agreement of the public through a referendum.

The Constitution of Jamaica has no mandatory provision for a referendum, and there is no cry by the people for a referendum. Most either do not know of the Privy Council or have any access thereto. Why should we be seeking any referendum, particularly when we cannot afford it if we are to get our priorities correct?

One of the principal features of our Constitution is representative democracy, and removal of the Privy Council has been cast on this principle so that the people's representative may remove the Privy Council without a referendum.

Chapter VII of the Constitution makes provision for creation of courts by Parliament and the common law of Jamaica even provides for entrenchment by Parliament of judges of the CCJ without a referendum.


Mandeville, Manchester