Grenada Broadcasting Network

18th May 2024




Members of the Grenada Bar Association are calling on government to consult with them to chart a new course in addressing changes to the criminal code dealing with sexual offences. Five prominent local lawyers say having had many years of legal experience, they are in a position to contribute to a draft Criminal Code (Amendment) Bill that seeks to change laws pertaining to sexual offences. The lawyers say they feel the draft legislation sent to the Grenada Bar Association,by the Attorney General’s office for feedback should be withdrawn. Jerry Edwin is suggesting that Attorney General, Darshan Ramdhani do the right thing.

Edwin cautions’ that the bar should not be fought against, neither should  the Grenadian public.”Don”t fight with the people of Grenada” Edwin said. He begs that the rights of the Grenadian people should not be taken away. “Lets sit down and do this the right way Mr. Attorney General”, he said.

The Attorney General says the Bill was developed in response to recent cases involving young victims of sexual abuse,however attorney Francis Paul says the move will be an unconstitutional one.

Amendment to the evidence Act,  admit into evidence a document without the maker of the document being called to give evidence as a witness in relation to it, then where is the presumption of innocence?” Francis asked.

Dereck Sylvester said the draft legislation was not asking for feedback as the documents are headed to parliament.

This ultimately go before them. He said three lawyers  are in the lower house and the upper house. They ought to, when the bills are before them, look at the constitution and decide weather or not this law would violate the constitution. He says, if they speak before they  ought to speak, legal history would judge them.

Anselm Clouden who said it’s the first time in Grenada’s history that a bar of criminal attorneys have assembled to oppose a government draft legislation. He is also calling on Grenadians to let their voices be heard on this issue.

Clouden said he would like to remind the Grenadian public that law without order  is Tirane, and order without law is ciaos.  Clouden is of the view that the Attorney General is bent on taking them down an unconstitutional path, the result of which ultimately would be  the innocent being incarcerated without due process.  The proposed amendments to the criminal code seeks to increase the penalty upon summary conviction for Indecent assault from five years to seven years; to increase the penalty upon indictment for rape from thirty years to life imprisonment; and to repeal the provisions regarding testimonies of children of tender years.




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