The Grenada Bar Association has taken note of the statement issued yesterday (26 July) by the Government of Grenada that it will not table the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Control Bill 2020 at the sitting of Parliament on Wednesday, 29 July 2020.
The expressed reason for this is that the government wishes to delay the process to give an opportunity to address concerns raised about this Bill.
Having received the Bill from the Attorney General’s chambers on Saturday, 25 July 2020 for the first time, the Grenada Bar Association determined that the responsible position it should take is to help the process by first seeking the withdrawal of the Bill to allow for consultation with the government and other interested stakeholders, which the government has now admitted should have and did not take place. The role of the Bar, as we see it, will be to critique the Bill as drafted based on applicable legal principles and to make recommendations for its replacement or amendment in compliance with the law and public policy as the case may be.
One day after the government issued its statement, its principal legal advisor has embarked on a round of media outings and has been heard to make statements which signal that he does not expect the consultation to be anything other than an empty exercise. Given the anxiety and agitation which this Bill has already caused to the public, at a time of unprecedented national anxiety and stress, the Government of Grenada must decide whether the message now being carried by the Attorney General is in the interest of the public which has legitimate reasons to be concerned about the content and implications of this Bill.
For our part, the Grenada Bar will not participate in any “pappyshow” consultation if, according to the Attorney General, the outcome is already fixed. If the government does not commit to a genuine consultative process, this will only invite further disquiet and disruption into our national space. We urge that good sense must prevail for the good of all of us.
Grenada Bar Association
NOW Grenada is not responsible for the opinions, statements or media content presented by contributors. In case of abuse, click here to report.