Fact Sheet: Grenada Constitution Reform

Seven Constitution Amendment Bills Made Simple

Referendum Day is Thursday 27 October 2016. Citizens will be asked to cast their ballot to vote Yes or No, to each of seven Referendums / Bills. The proposed changes to the Constitution by Referendum would only carry if a two-thirds majority of voters vote for a particular Bill.

These bills propose to amend the Grenada Constitution for example with respect to:

Replacing the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice, ensuring current fundamental rights and freedoms of all Grenadians, including: Due process, gender equality, making special provisions for people with disabilities, the protection of the intellectual property (creativity) of Grenadians, directive principles with respect to the management of the economy and environment; management of the electoral process, the terms of office of a Prime Minister and changing the name of the State from “Grenada” to “Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.”

The seven ballot papers on which each of the seven bills will be placed in alphabetical order are:

constitution-reform-1-ccj

BALLOT PAPER NO. 1: (CARIBBEAN COURT OF JUSTICE AND OTHER JUSTICE RELATED MATTERS)

The amendments proposed to this Bill include:

  • Replacing the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as the final court of appeal;
  • Calling the Supreme Court, the “Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court” instead of “the Supreme Court of Grenada and the West Indies Associated States”;
  • Introducing a Code of Conduct for public officials;
  • Changing the Oath of Allegiance to swear allegiance to the State of Grenada instead of to Her Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors.
constitution-reform-2-elections

BALLOT PAPER NO. 2: (ELECTIONS AND BOUNDARIES COMMISSION)

The amendment proposed by this Bill is the replacement of the Constituency Boundaries Commission and the Supervisor of Elections with an Elections and Boundaries Commission.

constitution-reform-3-opposition

BALLOT PAPER NO. 3: (ENSURING THE APPOINTMENT OF LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION)

This Bill proposes to amend the Constitution to authorise the Governor-General to appoint a Leader of the Opposition from the party getting the second highest number of votes, if one party wins all the seats in general elections. That Leader of the Opposition will be entitled to sit in the House of Representatives and perform all the constitutional functions of a Leader of the Opposition.

constitution-reform-4-election-date

BALLOT PAPER NO. 4: (FIXED DATE FOR ELECTIONS)

This Bill proposes to amend the Constitution to authorise Parliament to establish a fixed date for elections. However, elections may be called sooner than the fixed date for example if there a vote of no confidence moved in Parliament.

constitution-reform-5-name-of-state

BALLOT PAPER NO. 5: (NAME OF STATE)

The amendments proposed to this Bill include:

  • Changing the name of the State from Grenada to “Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique”;
  • To confirm that the territory of the State includes Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique and “all other areas which were a part of Grenada at the time of independence in February 1974 legally remain our territory.
constitution-reform-6-rights_and_freedoms

BALLOT PAPER NO. 6: (RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS)

The amendments proposed to this Bill aim to expand the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals, some of which include:

  • The rights of persons under arrest;
  • The protection of intellectual property rights;
  • The protection and equality of children generally;
  • The guarantee of public funded education to all children under the age of 16 years and those with disabilities under the age of 18 years;
  • The guarantee of gender equality so that both men and women shall have equal rights and status in all spheres of life;
  • To establish directive principles regarding: (a) the protection of the environment; and (b) the establishment of an enabling environment for persons who are physically, visually, aurally and or mentally challenged.
  • Directive Principles for the management of the State.
constitution-reform-7-term-of-office

BALLOT PAPER NO. 7: (TERM OF OFFICE OF PRIME MINISTER)

The amendments proposed by this Bill, aim to authorise Parliament to pass a law to amend the Constitution to prevent someone from being appointed to the office of Prime Minister, if that person has already served as Prime Minister for three consecutive parliamentary terms.

On Referendum Day, electors having analysed each Bill, must indicate their approval or disapproval, as their consciences guide them. They can vote: Yes or No, for: One, two, three, four, five, six, or all seven Bills, when they go to the polls.

Grenada Bar Association

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