Court rules that 2nd extension to DPP’S tenure is unconstitutional; Claimants’ lawyer says Ms. Lewellyn should demit office

The Constitutional Court this morning ruled that the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP’s) second extension in office is unconstitutional. 

Last year, Opposition Member of Parliament Phillip Paulwell and Senator Peter Bunting filed a lawsuit challenging the move by the government to pass a bill, which extends the retirement ages of the Auditor General and the DPP from 60 to 65 years with a possible extension to 70.

They contended that the extension was enacted for an improper purpose and is therefore inconsistent with the constitution.

In handing down its ruling, the Court explained that while the amendment to increase the DPP’s age of retirement is valid, the new provision introduced in section 2 (2) which gives the DPP the right to elect to remain in office, is invalid. 

Meanwhile, the attorney representing the claimants, Michael Hilton explains that DPP Paula Lewellyn has to demit office immediately following the ruling.

He told reporters this morning that the ruling highlights the importance of respecting the Constitution. 

MP Paulwell also argued that this situation could have been avoided if there was respect for the Opposition in Parliament.

In the meantime, the ruling has been welcomed by Executive Director of advocacy group, Jamaicans for Justice, Mickel Jackson.

In a post made on X (formerly Twitter), Ms. Jackson said bad governance was displayed with the process by which the Constitutional Amendment Bill was pursued. 

She said she welcomes the decision by the Court to declare section 2 (2) of the amendment null, void and of no legal effect, and looks forward to the written judgement.


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