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    • Justice Minister, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, has hailed the country’s judiciary for playing a “most important constitutional role” in settling the matter arising from the dismissal of Arthur Williams and Dr. Christopher Tufton from the Senate.
    • Senator Golding, who is also Acting Leader of Government Business in the Senate, said the Senators’ return, due to the court’s ruling, was a moment to celebrate the nation’s judiciary.
    • Senator Golding specifically lauded the Court of Appeal for ensuring the “restoration of clarity and certainty to the key structural foundations of democratic governance arrangements” and ensuring that this issue was dealt with in a timely manner.

    Justice Minister, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, has hailed the country’s judiciary for playing a “most important constitutional role” in settling the matter arising from the dismissal of Arthur Williams and Dr. Christopher Tufton from the Senate.

    He was speaking in the Upper House today (March 27), as the Senators returned to the Chamber, after a prolonged absence.

    The members’ absence resulted from their unlawful dismissal from the Senate in 2013, through the use of pre-signed and undated letters of resignation.

    In February, the Constitutional Court ruled that the Senators’ ousting via this means was in breach of the Constitution.

    The Court of Appeal rejected an appeal by Opposition Leader, Andrew Holness, ruling this week that the Senators did not resign and are therefore still entitled to their positions in the Senate.

    Senator Golding, who is also Acting Leader of Government Business in the Senate, said the Senators’ return, due to the court’s ruling, was a moment to celebrate the nation’s judiciary.

    “As Minister of Justice, I wish to publicly applaud our judiciary, both the judges of the constitutional court and the Court of Appeal, for duly playing what might be regarded as their most important constitutional role arising from the separation of powers that underlies our Governmental system,” he said.

    Senator Golding specifically lauded the Court of Appeal for ensuring the “restoration of clarity and certainty to the key structural foundations of democratic governance arrangements” and ensuring that this issue was dealt with in a timely manner.

    He also thanked Opposition Senators Ruel Reid and Nigel Clarke, who replaced the members in their absence, for their contribution to the Upper House.

    In leading the welcome to the reinstated members, President of the Senate, Senator Floyd Morrison, said he was appreciative that the matter has been “laid to rest” and there is greater clarity as it relates to membership.

    “I wish for both gentlemen all the best in their renewed effort to represent the country at this august institution,” he said.

    Leader of Opposition Business, Tom Tavares-Finson, also highlighted the crucial role of the judiciary in efficiently dealing with and resolving the matter.

    “The matter was dealt with expeditiously because it was recognised that it was a matter of national importance that needed ventilation and needed some degree of closure,” he said.

    In response, Senators Williams and Dr. Tufton thanked the members for their kind gesture. Dr. Tufton said the episode “should be a learning experience for all of us”.

    “I think that (from) the lessons that will be learnt…I hope that’s the approach that we adopt to strengthen us as a democracy, to strengthen us as leaders and to allow us to provide the service that is required and deserving for the people of Jamaica,” he said.

    “I am here to serve – that’s my only intention, that my only ambition. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this side as well as colleagues on the opposite side in the service of Jamaica and Jamaicans,” he added.