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GRENADA CONSTITUTION : ROAD TO REFORM

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The Constitution of Grenada, made by Her Majesty in Council, came into force on 7 February 1974, for the independence which that day Grenada attained, under founding Prime Minister Eric (later Sir Eric) Gairy, amidst civil disquiet.

Familiar Westminster model

The Constitution is typical of the Westminster model. The Head of State is Her Majesty, who is represented by a Governor-General. It has a bicameral Parliament, comprising, in a parliamentary democracy, a predominant elected House of Representatives, and a nominated Senate.

The effective Executive is a Cabinet of Ministers, led by a Prime Minister, who is the Head of Government. A Leader of the Opposition is provided for.

There is an independent Judiciary, shared with other EC countries, which all have as their final court Her Majesty in Council.

It guarantees the human rights which usually protect life, liberty, dignity and property.

Suspended and Restored

maurice_bishop[1]The Constitution was suspended on 13 March 1979 by those who that day revolutionarily overthrew the Gairy Government and installed themselves as the People’s Revolutionary Government under Maurice Bishop.  That suspension continued until the revolution fell, following internal schisms, climaxed by a multi-national military intervention headed by the USA under President Ronald Reagan, on 25 October 1983.

paul_scoon[1]Restoration of the Constitution began with Proclamation No.1 of 1983 issued on 31 October 1983 by the Governor-General Sir Paul Scoon. That process was completed on 16 August 1991 under Prime Minister Sir Nicholas Brathwaite.

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Sir Fred Phillips CRC 1985

 

A Constitution Review Commission (‘CRC’) chaired by Sir Fred Phillips, and including Professor AR Carnegie, in 1985, reviewed the Constitution. That CRC submitted its Report, making recommendations for reform. None of those has been implemented.

Justice Lyle St Paul CRC

Another CRC chaired by Mr Justice Lyle St Paul, CBE OBE, and including Carol Bristol QC, 2002-2006, reviewed the Constitution. That CRC submitted its Report, advancing recommendations. None of those has been put in place.

Professor Randolph Mc Intosh

Professor Randolph Mc Intosh did a Revised Draft Constitution in 2013. None of its clauses has been enacted.

Constitution Reform Advisory Committee

hon_keith_mitchell_grenada[1]A Constitution Reform Advisory Committee was launched on 16 January 2014 by Prime Minister Dr The Rt Hon Keith Mitchell.

This Committee comprises Dr Francis Alexis QC, Chairman; Robert  Branch, Ruggles Ferguson, Sandra Ferguson, Norman Gilbert, Pastor Alfred Horsford, Naeisha John, Dr Lawrence Joseph, Kindra Mathurine-Stewart, Sherry-Ann Noel, Bert  Patterson, Senator Simon Stiell, Tillman Thomas (former Prime Minister) and Margaret Wilkinson.

The mission of this Committee is to continue the consultation process on Constitution Reform; and, in this regard, advise Government on the way forward. As part of that process, on the road to reform, the Committee warmly invites you to share with it your views on Grenada Constitution Reform.

Dated this 14th day of February 2014
Dr Francis Alexis QC
Chairman
Grenada Constitution Reform Advisory Committee