The Grenada Human Rights Organisation (GHRO) Inc and Partners welcome the opportunity to participate and contribute to this national process of public education and discussions on the proposed change from the Privy Council to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as Grenada’s final appellate court.
This process will culminate with the 6 November national referendum vote by the people – represented by registered voters – will so give effect through a secret ballot, by a two-thirds majority vote of all those who have participated.
The theme for the forums is “The referendum process and changing from Privy Council to Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) – What are the human rights implications?”
The issues of justice and altering the Grenada Constitution are very important and significant to all citizens, since the constitution guarantees our fundamental rights and freedoms. The constitution is the supreme law. All citizens are encouraged to take this process seriously and ensure that the process is done within acceptable international standards and norms within the good governance and development goals of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
A form 3 student, Jada Glean, a youth advocate, read a statement and called on all participants to make mature and responsible decisions that will be beneficial to the future adults and leaders – today’s youth and student.
During the public engagement held at the St George’s Anglican School, Church Street, St George’s several questions were asked, and concerns raised regarding the integrity of the process. The issue of political interference and hidden political motives and agendas was raised. There was a clarion call for the referendum voting to be changed from 6 November to next year (2019) so as to give additional time for extensive public debates and discussions. The Labour Representative in the Senate Senator André Lewis raised the concern that citizens not having the right to take Members of Parliament to the CCJ as a means of challenging concerns on any electoral matter.
Several public forums will be held with the relevant stakeholders to provide clarity and a deeper understanding of the bills and other relevant documents (laws and protocols) for the referendum process. A similar public engagement will take place on Thursday, 18 October at the St Paul’s Community Centre, St Paul’s.
There will be representation from the Parliamentary Elections Office (PEO) and the CCJ Advisory Committee, community and sectoral leaders, students and young people.
These series of public engagements can contribute to the education process. Information and clarifications will be sought from all the relevant authoritative stakeholders and partners for this process. There will also be available resource advocates who will also contribute to the content of the issue’s debates.
All registered voters are encouraged to vote responsibly when the time comes. All voters should seek to understand and get clarity on what are the implications of a vote ‘No’ or a vote ‘Yes’. To vote a right guaranteed by the Grenada Constitution and should be exercise with maturity and love for country.
We continue to seek clarifications on: What are the human rights implications for Grenada making the CCJ Grenada’s final appellate court; How significant is the process of altering the constitution and Justice, is it affordable, accessible, acceptable and available? How prepared is the Parliamentary Electoral Office for the voting process – are there issues of transparency with the ballot paper and voting by secret ballot?
GHRO Inc and Partners call on all sectoral organisations and agencies to join a team of advocates and get involve in the public education process. Knowing our rights is our civic responsibility, let’s all contribute to this process.