Categorized | National News

Parliament Can Confer Citizenship, Says Glinton Constitution Misinterpreted

With a large number of immigration cases before the Supreme Court in recent weeks, constitutional lawyer and Queens Counsel Maurice Glinton suggests that the constitution provides for parliament to confer citizenship.

Appearing as a call-in guest on Love 97’s afternoon talk show “ On Point”, Mr. Glinton, responding to a question as to whether or not the country has difficulty in administrating the laws of The Bahamas with respect to citizenship, said that the constitution is not misunderstood.

Mr. Glinton pointed out that the constitution is the foundation and guide post for, in particular, immigration laws. There have been a number of unlawful detainment and repatriation cases before the Supreme Court in recent weeks.

“The constitution not only laid the foundation, but set up the guide post within which we must operate.

“ The constitution is not supposed to have a vacuum. What you will find is that there is always a release valve and in this case, the constitution says to parliament, I think in article 13, that parliament can make laws to confer citizenship,” Mr. Glinton said.

Mr. Glinton pointed out that as far as the constitution (is concerned), in the whole question of citizenship for immigrants born in The Bahamas, there is no statute of limitation with age.

“You have this ridiculous interpretation about well if you didn’t apply before you are 18, you are shut out or excluded, utter rut! Nonsense!

“Parliament can confer citizenship on a monkey, if they wanted to.

“When you come to constitutional amendments, that is only to take care of an exigency that could never have been seen,” Mr. Glinton said.

As to where the issues arise, Mr. Glinton said that interpretation of the constitution is the greatest challenge.

“We are not prepared to sit down and learn what it is that we are about. We have never been prepared to look at the founding documents. Nobody understands it.

“They are making this much more complicated; so that in every sphere and you would have these miniature judges and miniature administrative law judges and you have these administrative consultants, as I call them, telling you how this is to be interpreted and how that is to be interpreted.

“They don’t want to go to the courts to have it interpreted and guess why, because in many instances the people who we have in the courts are not people we trust to do that, that’s another issue.

“If in fact we understood what the constitution was about, what a constitution is about, we should not be having these discussions.

“You would have the occasional case that comes and the only place for you to resolve it or for you to have the issue resolved is in the courts,” Mr. Glinton said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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