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Lecturer gets eye opener on ‘constitutional reform’

Lecturer gets eye opener on ‘constitutional reform’


Grenadian professor Simeon McIntosh revealed that he had learned more than expected at last week’s inaugural Agnes Cato Memorial Lecture, at which he presented.{{more}}

McIntosh, who was speaking the St Vincent and the Grenadines organized lecture, on the topic “Constitutional Reform: The Inscription of Nationhood”, said that he had gained pertinent information that would be beneficial to him as his country considers constitutional reform.

“I think everything has been turned on its head here this evening,” McIntosh said, during the question and answer period, following the just over one hour long lecture.

“I am the one benefitting from the lecture. What I’ve been hearing so far, you’ve given me all the reason why we should have constitutional reform….”

The professor was responding to comments and questions made by persons who attended the lecture, which took place at Frenches House on Thursday, March 8.

Many of the contributors, both supporters and opposers of this country’s 2009 bid at constitutional reform, outlined cases justifying the position they took in the effort, which saw the attempt to replace this country’s ‘independence constitution’ fail.

Many of their comments and questions were not based on the paper delivered by the professor, placing him in a position where he could only reflect on their statements.

“I get the suspicion that you were informing me something; in other words you were telling me some of the reasons why you believe that the referendum failed.”

“You are pointing to deep flaws in the document that you may have had and the circumstances that brought that document to a referendum. You are therefore explaining to me why that document failed; separate from the fact that you had the wrong person from Grenada helping you.”

McIntosh, former Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, said that the information lamented on by some of the contributors; which included the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Boundaries Commission, Powers of the Prime Minister, among others, would be useful for the Grenadian officials as they prepare a similar document.

“If you have all these fundamental flaws; these are exactly the reason you should want Constitutional Reform…. This is why you need to shift certain powers of the Prime Minister….”

Constitutional reform is just about the only issue where I can see the people getting ahead of the politicians. Constitutional reform is the people’s business; not the politicians’ business.

“The people must be satisfied.”

Last Thursday’s lecture was held to honor the memory of the late Agnes Cato; who died on February 23, 2011.

Cato was at one time the president of the local Bar Association, which is currently led by Dr Linton Lewis; with Kay Bacchus Browne being the immediate past president.

The rest of the executive consists of Vice President Jomo Thomas, General Secretary Samantha Robertson, Treasurer Zhinga Horne, and committee members Zoe Williams, Maia Eustace and Patina Knights.(JJ)