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‘Look What We Come To’

The Clifton Review 


The Clifton Review is a tri-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires. We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings.

While the 2018 series salutes fashion mogul Peter Nygård’s Golden Jubilee detailing his rags to riches story, his incredible business success over these past fifty years and an inside look at how he did it, The Clifton Review will also continue to address current affairs as they relate to the good of The Bahamas. 


‘Look What We Come To’

By P.J. Malone


“Bizarre and absolutely scary.” That’s how one of our Queen’s Counsels described the recent passage of the Criminal Evidence (Witness Anonymity) Amendment Bill 2018. Another QC called it “dumb or dangerous”.

In its introduction in the House of Assembly, Minister of Works Desmond Bannister admitted that it is likely unconstitutional and may be struck down by the courts.

QC Damian Gomez and former Minister of State for Legal Affairs asserted this when the Nassau Guardian asked him for comment:

“We have a real problem here with this. This seems bizarre. You do something that you know to be wrong and then say, ‘oh, you can always challenge it in the court’? That’s irresponsible. You can’t hide behind public policy.”

In his comments about the passing of the Amendment, QC Wayne Munroe said it was “dumb and dangerous”. Munroe also declared the following: 

“What they are saying is we know that the constitution is the supreme law. As the government and the legislature, we are going to pass a law that we think very well may be contrary to the supreme law; so we are going to break the supreme law and we are going to do it publically.”

The challenge isn’t just that the Members of Parliament passed an amendment that they know to be unconstitutional. The challenge is also that in addition to ignoring the rights of any accused to a fair trial, they are creating more problems.

To explain this point, Munroe’s example is worth repeating:

Let’s say somebody is screened from me and has his voice changed so I don’t know who it is. This could be somebody who has borne a grudge against me all his life but I won’t know that. I can’t put anything of that nature to the witness. Let’s assume it’s a homicide. My case is I didn’t kill the person, somebody else did and the witness is that person who actually did the killing. I can’t see him or her. Or you may have had a vibe with me all your life that is well documented. You may have lied on me before in a way that I can prove. But I don’t know who you are so I have no way of bringing that to the attention of the tribunal of fact.

Could you imagine if the anonymous witness is my friend wife or sweetheart and I don’t know that? These people are just ridiculous. Dumbness is being elevated to an art in this country.

Is this the hornet’s nest the Parliament of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas is seeking to create? 

Are our representatives so mindless, so obtuse that they go along with an obviously flawed idea and not think about what they are doing or its consequences?

Our representatives are required to be thinking individuals who assess what is in the best interest of our country and its citizens and not go along with their party’s program.

They want to act like they are addressing crime. Well you don’t solve one problem by creating another especially one that conflicts with the constitution. That just makes you look dumb.

They make us look so foolish. Look what we come to, ay?

Written by Jones Bahamas

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