Legal Affairs Minister rubbishes claims SOEs were not valid because the regulations were tabled late

Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Marlene Malahoo Forte has rubbished claims that the recently imposed States of Emergency (SOEs) in several parishes were not valid because the regulations were not tabled in parliament.


States of Emergency were declared in St. Ann, Clarendon, St. Catherine, specified areas of Kingston and St. Andrew, St. James, Westmoreland and Hanover, last Monday (December 6).


The regulations were tabled in the senate on Friday and in parliament today.


Stakeholders had questioned whether the emergency powers were valid as of December 6, since there were no regulations tabled.


Speaking on the issue of the late tabling, Mrs. Malahoo Forte said citizens were misled about when the emergency regulations took effect.



Mrs. Malahoo Forte suggested that there is no legal requirement for State of Emergency regulations to be tabled at the start of the measure.



In response to Minister Malahoo Forte’s statement, Member of Parliament for St. Andrew Western, Anthony Hylton, noted that clarity was needed on the SOE regulations.


He suggested that there are still questions surrounding the regulations and how they work.



Mr. Hylton noted that it has been the practice that the regulations are debated and discussed prior to implementation.



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