ONE more step towards modernizing the island’s Constitution will take place today in the House of Assembly.
The House is expected to meet for one of its normal sittings. However, unlike other sittings where several matters are discussed, today there will only be one matter on the Order paper, which is the report of the government-appointed Constitutional Reform Commission.
The report, will be debated upon a motion by Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony.
The debate will engage parliamentarians in an exercise to determine which amendments are necessary to modernize the Constitution.
Today’s discussion is being held on the anniversary of the passing of Justice Suzie d’Auvergne, the Commission’s Chairperson.
The Senate will discuss the report on Thursday.
The Commission was mandated by unanimous resolution dated 17 February, 2004, by the House of Assembly, which authorized its establishment, to examine Saint Lucia’s Constitution and to report in writing, the Commission’s opinions and recommendations for possible reform of the Constitution.
The Resolution stated that the Commission was required, through broad-based consultations with Saint Lucians both at home and abroad, to “review and reform the Constitution of Saint Lucia in order to encourage effective governance, to ensure that the institutions of State remain strong and responsive and that the rights and freedoms guaranteed to all persons are respected.”
It noted further, that the major objectives of the exercise were principally to promote a meaningful expansion and widening of democratic participation by citizens in government; address possible weaknesses in the constitutional framework which political practice had highlighted over the years; re-fashion the Constitution so that it better accorded with our changing social and political circumstances and promote better governance and greater equity in the constitutional framework generally.
The Commission was mandated to seek ways to strengthen democratic institutions; encourage a wider and deeper participation by citizens in the processes of government; strengthen accountability of public institutions and strengthen the fundamental and basic rights of citizens of Saint Lucia.
The report contains 190 recommendations.
The public is encouraged to attend these historic sittings.