Nation e-Edition

I hear the donkey bray

By LEONARD ST HILL 

| Wed, January 02, 2013 - 12:01 AM

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The law prescribes a penalty of $500 or six months’ imprisonment, or both, for operating a day care centre without a licence. Hee haw! Hee haw!

Does it really cost the Government less than $3 a day to accommodate the criminal at Dodds serving a custodial sentence for failing to obtain a licence to operate a day care centre?

Surely this is the kind of arithmetic that makes a fuss about tourism in Jamaica that earns US$1.7 billion in a year without counting the cost in foreign debt incurred in the process. Is it happening here as well?

Excuse the digressions. The point at issue here is: who makes the law? The December 14 WEEKEND NATION Editorial suggests that a judiciary worthy of trust has no option but to enforce whatever laws are found on the books relating to cases brought before it, “even if the public thinks otherwise”.

Leaving the discretion of the Director of Public Prosecutions out of the picture with regard to cases brought to trial, the fact is that the very “public which thinks otherwise” adverted to in the Editorial are actually responsible for making the laws that are on and remain on the statute books of a democratic community.

They elect representatives to make laws that reflect the will of the people who elect the legislators who seem to have forgotten that their primary function is not to duplicate the office of professionals appointed by qualification to the civil establishment, but to keep laws abreast of the times and the will of electorate, as expressed.

It is, after all, the electorate who empowers the politicians and not the other way around.

Finally, between the Director of Public Prosecutions and a judiciary worthy of trust, their interpretation of the law should signal to the legislature whenever the donkey brays what it actually says.

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