Categorized | National News

A Culture of Hate

Attorney and Legal Director for Save The Bays Fred Smith, QC, Friday expressed concern that the actions of members of Parliament threatening to challenge a judge’s ruling are promoting a culture of hate in the country.


Justice Indra Charles has recommended that representatives from the Attorney General’s Office and Save the Bays (STB) discuss the constitutional issues before a full hearing which will decide if the order for an injunction can be discharged.


On Friday, attorney Loren Klein representing the Attorney General;’s office, appeared before Justice Charles to have a recently imposed injunction set aside which prohibits Marathon MP and Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald and Fox Hill MP and Minister of Immigration Fred Mitchell along with the Attorney General from further releasing any documents, emails or personal information about STB members in Parliament.


“I do not make orders lightly. If there’s going to be an application to discharge, it has to be heard in full, as I said,” Justice Charles said. “An injunction has been granted, a return date is the 12th of May. The injunction comes to an end on May 12 unless there’s an application for it to be renewed.”


The judge added that she is willing to accommodate both parties on Wednesday if they cannot come to a resolve as she believes this matter deserves attention as it is urgent not only to The Bahamas but to the Caribbean.


The date which is set for a full hearing of the constitutional rights is May 12th, which is also the day the current injunction expires.


“If injunction is too harsh a word, maintaining the status quo may be better. But I will not be able to discharge the order not hearing the arguments,” the judge said.


The judge during the hearing said questions as to whether or not the Supreme Court is the supreme law of the land and whether parliamentary privilege is absolute if a person complains that their rights have been infringed on will be discussed fully in the full hearing on the 12 of May.


Mr. Smith meantime applauded the justice’s ruling and reminded politicians that they are not above the law.

“I encourage her to discourage the members of the House from trying to remove the issue from the courts proper determination,” he said.”This is a matter in civil society in a country governed by the rule of law. The Supreme Court decides disputes between people. Threatening to put the judge in jail; threatening to put me in jail; threatening to put Ferron Bethell in jail does not promote the rule of law or respect for civil society.

“So I am so glad that the attorney general at least understands the process and is looking forward to having the matter heard in the Supreme Court.”


The injunction was imposed last week Thursday by Justice Charles after an affidavit was filed by members of STB saying their rights were infringed on.


Since then members of parliament including the Speaker of the House of Assembly Dr. Kendal Major said parliamentary privilege is to not be infringed upon.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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