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Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel, Erica Boswell Munroe, is reminding Jamaicans that they have a pivotal role to play in influencing the law making process that governs the country.

“You can influence how the laws are made, the content of the law, how the law is enforced by understanding, as citizens, what are your rights, duties, obligations and also the channels that you can use to access consultation, to access the persons who represent you in the Parliament, to give them your views, so that they can represent your views,” she said.

Ms. Boswell Munroe was speaking at a seminar at the Management Institute for National Development (MIND), Old Hope Road, today (October  22).

“I think the time has come for us as Jamaicans to think about how we do things differently, not to sit on the sideline and wish for things to happen, but make things happen,” she emphasised.

The Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel lamented that when laws are to be passed or implemented, persons do not contribute enough to the process.

“From where I sit, it’s almost like persons would want the drafter to make it up. The  Government comes up with some ideas or policies, and they ask the people: ‘Can you comment on this legislation, it’s before the Parliament’, but nobody goes there to  read it, to see what’s going on, but when it is about to be passed, suddenly, everybody gets up and gets into a tizzy,” she said.

Ms. Boswell Munroe argued that  knowledge and sensitisation of the existing laws are critical to empowerment and knowing one’s rights, and encouraged persons to avail themselves of the information  available.                                                                                                         

The seminar was organised by Empowered Executive Professional Incorporated (EEPI) under the theme: ‘Protecting At-Risk Youth: The Legal Framework’.

It examined the laws that exist, the challenges in enforcing these laws, international standards, and how Jamaica measures up.

The seminar also sought to raise awareness of the various laws to protect children from abuse.

The EEPI was formed on September 10, 2012 as a result of the MIND certificate course in Administrative Management.  As part of this course, the group was asked to arrange a seminar.