JIS News

Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne, has said that her Ministry is in the process of redrafting the six anti-crime bills mooted in 2008, so that they can be passed by a majority vote in Parliament.
The Bills are: An act to amend the Bail Act; An act further to amend the Firearms Act; An act to amend the Offences Against the Person Act; An act to Amend the Parole Act; An act to make interim provision in relation to the grant of bail in specified circumstances; and An act to make interim provision extending the powers of arrest and detention under Sections 50B and 50F of the Constabulary Force Act.
The bills were referred to a Joint Select Committee of Parliament in September, 2008. Four months later, the committee completed its deliberations after receiving submissions from a number of stakeholders and other members of the society. However, Senator Lightbourne told a function hosted by the European Union (EU) and the Dispute Resolution Foundation, Thursday (March 4), at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston that the Bills had not received enough support for further action to be taken.
“Out of an abundance of caution, it was drafted so that to be passed it would require, under the Constitution, the support of the Opposition and then it could not be challenged. As you know, we did not receive that support. My Ministry is now redrafting those bills in a form that can be passed by majority vote, and so it will be brought back to Parliament very shortly,” she explained.
The six bills were a response to the alarming rate of crime, especially murder, following the 2007 General Elections and were intended to bolster the police in carrying out their crime-fighting initiatives.