All are entitled to protection of their rights
I find myself in unaccustomed company over some aspects of the six pieces of the anti-crime legislation. "Misfortune acquaints a man with strange bedfellows."
I am firmly opposed to any legislation that may in any way alter, or affect, or make different provisions for the protection of fundamental rights.
Any proposal that affects the protections can only become law if passed in the manner provided for in the constitution. I am especially anxious where the proposed legislation seeks to give extraordinary powers to agents of the state to the detriment of the individual.
The legislation must, I submit, meet the restrictions on change imposed both at sections 49 and 50 of the Constitution for Special Acts of Parliament. Otherwise, the word "Fundamental" has no meaning for rights and freedoms in Jamaica and the protections set out at sections 13 to 26 of the Constitution are illusory.
Every person in Jamaica is entitled to the protection of their rights, including protection against incursion on the rights by Parliament. Any legislation for abridging or removing the protections in the constitution must be closely monitored and jealously applied to delay action to allow for mature thought and unhastened decisions on fundamental rights.
I adopt what Justice Lugakingira said in Mtikila v Attorney General, (High Court, Dodoma, Tanzania (Africa) 27 Oct 1994).
"The court was enjoined to incline to the realisation of the fundamental rights and not their restrictions and was entitled in such circumstances to disregard even the clear words of a provision if their application would result in injustice."
20 1/2 Duke Street