Guided by change...

Letters to the Editor

Guided by change...

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

Dear Editor,

In my opinion piece, 'Take heed, Madam Attorney General', published in the Jamaica Observer on March 30, 2020, I made reference to the Jamaica Constitution section 26 (4) Public Emergency... “which is issued upon the governor general being satisfied... that a public emergency has arisen as a result of the occurrence of any earthquake, hurricane, flood, fire, outbreak of pestilence, outbreak of infectious disease or other calamity, whether similar to the foregoing...” However, I was reliably informed by my learned friend, Isat A Buchanan, that section 26 (4) of the constitution has been repealed and was replaced by section 20 (1) found in chapter 3 of the updated 2011 amendment:

20 (1) In this chapter “period of public emergency” means any period during which constitutional provisions: Declaration of a State of Emergency:

a) Jamaica is engaged in any war; or

b) there is in force a proclamation by the governor general declaring that a state of public emergency exists; or

c) there is in force a resolution of each House supported by the votes of a majority of all the members of that House declaring that democratic institutions in Jamaica are threatened by subversion.

20 (2) A proclamation made by the governor general shall not be effective for the purposes of subsection (4) of this section unless it is declared therein that the governor general is satisfied:

(c)that a period of public disaster has arisen as a result of the occurrence of any earthquake, hurricane, flood, fire, outbreak of pestilence, outbreak of infectious disease or other calamity whether similar to the foregoing or not.”

I therefore wish to apologise for any inconveniences caused by quoting from an older copy of the constitution, and to encourage other citizens, like myself, who have concerns about the actions of the Government of Jamaica, and in the safeguarding of our human rights, to read the Constitution of Jamaica alongside the 2011 amendments, that now appears as chapter 3 in updated copies of the said constitution.

Dudley C McLean II

Mandeville, Manchester

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon