Ramson accuses Opposition of unvarnished sophistry, fishing exercise
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Court of Appeal Amendment Bill…
THE Opposition forces lead an agenda that is driven by veiled motives with the intention of making the Court of Appeal (Amendment) Bill die a natural death, Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Senior Counsel Charles Ramson said yesterday.
He told a press conference, in his Carmichael Street, Georgetown chambers,
that the Opposition, being guilty of unvarnished sophistry, must read the Standing Orders of Parliament and be able to fully understand the processes involved.
Mr. Ramson said their behaviour is intolerable and they must get their act together, as he is not going to be a party to such conduct and allow history to repeat itself.
He declared that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) was, finally, able to see that “these people” were on a “fishing exercise.”
According to Ramson, there has been no genuine commitment by the Opposition to pass the legislation and all their arguments are shallow.
He charged that they are falsely putting to the public that they are the protectors of the rights of the citizens. However, he maintained it is the present Administration that has put the right to protest into the Constitution.
Ramson further stated that it is very sad that the attacks by the Opposition are being made against the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). He had imagined that the various human rights associations would have intervened and been more interested, but does not see them generating any kind of favour in protecting the DPP.
Noting that the DPP is to ensure that the public interest is taken care of, he said: “I cannot imagine why the general feeling is that the State is to be rendered harmless, unable to protect the rights and interests of citizens equally entitled.”
He explained that the Bill is to ensure that there is regularity as the law is designed to be and that it also makes provision for the granting of bail pending the hearing of an appeal but observed that there has been much “sand dancing” in respect of the latter.
The AG said any judge who would not consent to granting bail pending such a hearing is strange and he pointed out that judges are humans who may err in their rulings at times.
Therefore, there is need for some avenue to correct these errors and prevent guilty persons from evading the brunt of the law, Ramson argued.
The Bill was piloted through the National Assembly by Ramson and passed last March 19 after being scrutinised by the Special Select Committee of Parliament.
It makes provision for the DPP to appeal the decision of a judge at the end of a trial, based on specific criteria and Ramson said such a provision is made in many other countries as it provides a level playing field for both the accused and the State.

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