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Act ‘did not cater to a pandemic’


Act ‘did not cater to a pandemic’

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The original Emergency Management Act did not deal with a public health emergency or even a pandemic, and that was why, said attorney for the Government, Queen’s Counsel Leslie Haynes, Parliament had to amend it.

“Between the coming into force of the Emergency Powers Act, that 1939 act, its amendment in 2006 and the introduction of the Emergency Management Act, there was nothing in the legislation or the legislation was devoid of any specific reference to a public health issue, far less a pandemic,” Haynes argued yesterday.

“When one looked at the Emergency Management Act that was passed in 2006, it was clear that the act did not cater for a public health emergency. It catered to disasters such as we in the Caribbean are accustomed to – floods, hurricanes, other meteorological acts, and as an afterthought so to speak, any other disaster whether natural or otherwise.”

His submissions came as he spent more than two hours on his feet when the constitutional challenge to Government’s COVID-19 protocols continued in the No. 12 Supreme Court. He resumes today.

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