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Constitutional Reform Commission invites input from Saint Lucian citizens

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Contact: Adhara King

Monday February 9, 2009 – The Constitutional Reform Commission is inviting individuals and civil society organizations to document recommendations for discussion.

Groups and individuals are asked to submit memoranda clearly articulating recommendations for change, and the rationale and support for these recommendations.

Representative of the Constitutional Reform Commission, Veronica Cenac said, “this exercise is taking place against the backdrop of several other pressing issues—the economic downturn, for example; in a sense it has taken its place in the order of things. It certainly is not a priority for most persons, but there has been in general, a good level of attention. In the community meetings, we could have had more persons there, but I think that we got a lot of essence, and a lot of important information.”

Upon receipt of the recommendations, persons will be invited to make oral presentations to the Commission, and will be given the opportunity to debate their ideas.

The deadline for submissions is March 6, 2009, and presentations will be made on Tuesday March 17th, Thursday March 19th, and Friday March 20th.

As part of the final day's presentation, members of the public who have not submitted papers, but wish to make oral presentations before the commission, will be given an opportunity to be heard.

“This activity really is part of the Commission’s work to generate a greater level of interest. We are coming down to the time when we have to report to the Parliament of Saint Lucia. The commission is a non-partisan organization and it was approved by the entire parliament—both the government at the time, and the opposition. The original construction of the Constitutional Reform Commission remained, even after the change of government,” said Cenac.

In keeping with the terms of reference, the commission, at the end of the consultative process, will sit and compile all information received into a list of recommendations, to be presented to Parliament later this year.

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