KINGSTON, Jamaica: June 17, 2022 - The Opposition Peoples National Party, says it has taken note of the ruling of the Full Court of the Supreme Court in the case of Roshaine Clarke v the Attorney General, that several provisions of the Emergency Powers Regulations has breached the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms in the Constitution.
In a statement, the PNP's spokesperson on Justice, Senator Donna Scott Mottley, said the Opposition noted the Court’s finding that, “These regulations were declared unconstitutional as they gave the authorities unduly unfettered power to abrogate the fundamental rights of a wide class of persons in society without evidence establishing that they were reasonably justified for achieving the purposes of the state of emergency.”
Senator Scott pointyed put that the "Opposition has long maintained that the way in which the Government has been using SOEs since 2018 has violated the Constitution, and this has now been definitively confirmed by the judgement handed down today by the Constitutional Court."
In addition, she noted that "the Opposition takes further note of the $17.8 million in damages awarded to the claimant, which speaks to the magnitude of the State’s potential liability where thousands of young people could become claimants in similar cases, at a cost that would be borne by the Jamaican taxpayers."
"We reiterate that there are already extensive and sufficient existing legislative tools available to law enforcement to get a grip of the crime situation in the country, but the national security situation is being mismanaged by the Government. The Government has a duty to allocate significant resources into the strengthening of the State’s response to bail applications and the preparation of prosecutions of serious criminal cases, in order to protect victims by making the criminal justice system an effective deterrent to wrongdoers and ensuring accountability," Senator Mottley said.
"We invite the Government to have discussions with the Opposition to find a constitutional and effective pathway to addressing the scourge of crime and violence plaguing the country, given today’s guidance provided by the Constitutional Court," the Opposition Senator concluded.