23 December 2020
Her Excellency, Dame Cecile La Grenade GCMG DStJ OBE
Governor-General of Grenada
Office of the Governor General
Point Salines, ST. GEORGE’S
We write to you regarding a NOW Grenada article dated Tuesday, December 22, 2020, in your name: “declaring a State of Emergency (SoE) in Grenada on Monday, 21 December 2020.”
This declaration allows for the Cabinet to impose a curfew and other regulations under the Emergency Powers Act.
As empowered citizens, we are cognisant of the authority given to you by Section 17 (1) of the Grenada Constitution which states “The Governor General may, by Proclamation which shall be published in the Gazette, declare that a State of Emergency exists for the purposes of this Chapter.” ‘Chapter’ being Chapter one of the Constitution which addresses fundamental rights and freedoms.
Section 17 (5) further states “A resolution of a House of Parliament passed for the purposes of this section shall remain in force for six months or such shorter period as may be specified therein:…”
Our interpretation of Section 17 ss2, 4, 5, 6 and 8, has led us to understand that authority during a public emergency is constitutionally the Governor-General’s and the Parliament of Grenada.
These constitutional directives seem to differ from what was published on Tuesday in your name. We therefore seek clarity on the following concerns:
- When was the ‘proclamation’ made?
- The constitutional basis that conveyed authority to the Cabinet
- Was the declaration in accordance with Section 17 (2) (a) which instructs for a period of seven days beginning with the publication of the declaration
- The curfew was announced for 14 days, did the Houses of Parliament meet to pass such a resolution that would extend the SoE beyond seven days?
- Is the Emergency Powers Act sunset legislation?
Thanking you in advance for your urgent response to this letter as we seek to ensure that the principles and beliefs enshrined in our Supreme Law, which represents the high ideals upon which our nation is founded continue to safeguard the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.
Joseph K. Roberts
Independent Caucus for Constitution Reform