Dr Francis Alexis to Chair Constitution Reform Project Committee

Government has announced that a former Attorney General will be the Chairman of “Grenada’s Constitution Reform Project” — an initiative aimed at reforming the island’s constitution which became the supreme law of the land since the island gained independence almost 40 years ago.

Former lecturer at the University of the West Indies and well known constitutional lawyer Dr Francis Alexis is to chair the committee that will comprise a wide cross section of stakeholders including the main political parties, Grenada Bar Association, the OECS Bar Association, the Trade Union Movement, the religious community, the business community, the Media Association and the Civil Society.

Minister Gregory Bowen made the announcement recently during a post cabinet briefing. Bowen said that the decision to include the OECS Bar is for the perspective of the subregion to be included in the final document that will be presented for consideration.

“When we do constitution reform at this point, we must not just think so narrowly and strictly focus on Grenada. The realities of the time mean we need to broaden and that is why we at Cabinet have decided to include the regional body on the Committee,” Bowen said.

The Committee will have a period of between nine to twelve months to complete its task. Bowen said while the Committee will identify the areas of priority with regards to amendments in the constitution there will be experts from the Organisation of American States and other bodies who will assist with the constitution reform process.

Delivering the Throne Speech on 4 October 2012, Governor General Dame Cécile La Grenade said Government is committed to Constitution Reform and that the 40th anniversary of Independence signifies growing maturity and a coming of age.

“It is therefore right and proper that our Nation considers the type of constitution that should guide our development for the next 40 years and beyond. Accordingly, my Government, in our Nation’s 40th anniversary of Independence, will put to the people, a referendum on a new Constitution for Grenada,” she said.

“The  matters for contemplation and decision will include the structure and composition of our Parliament, accession to the Caribbean Court of Justice as Grenada’s final Appellate Court and other relevant issues. This referendum will be a defining moment in our Nationhood and an opportunity which must be fully grasped by all citizens,” she told the Nation.

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