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Structure of Legal and Constitutional Affairs Ministry Approved

The Ministry of Legal and Constitutional Affairs (MLCA) has received approval from the Finance and the Public Service Ministry for the implementation of its structure.

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Wayne O. Robertson, in a recent JIS News interview, said that a start-up organisational structure was accepted for core positions.

“For example, the Permanent Secretary’s office will be fully staffed, and we have also received approval for all the core technical positions. These include the Constitutional Reform Directorate and the Legal Education Directorate, which are critical. I singled out those two because of the body of work that would be required for the coming months and years,” he said.

Mr. Robertson noted that the Constitutional Reform Directorate will focus on the constitutional change agenda.

“We would have to educate Jamaicans about the transition from a constitutional monarchy to a republic, what that entails, the timelines and the role of the Jamaican people in the process,” he noted.

The work required to facilitate this process involves the establishment of a Constitutional Reform Committee, which Mr. Robertson said will be done soon.

“We have identified some members already and discussions are ongoing with others. At the appropriate time, we will make a formal announcement regarding the committee but the matter will have to be taken to Cabinet as well, so we are working on that,” he said.

He told JIS News that a term of reference has also been drafted for the Constitutional Reform Committee, which will guide its work.

“A policy paper is also being crafted with respect to the constitutional reform work programme. In addition to that, the Minister [Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte] would have articulated the steps required to take us to the finishing line… in terms of how we deal with the deeply entrenched provisions and the majority required,” he said.

The MLCA has been established to take charge of and give focused attention to the Government’s legislative agenda and its legal and constitutional reform aspirations. The creation of the

Ministry is the Government’s attempt to holistically revisit the legal and constitutional infrastructure of the State and accelerate the pace of reform.

The original article can be found on the JIS website