Speaker of National Assembly Clarifies Rule on Naming of Members of the Judiciary in Parliament

Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 17, 2020 (SKNIS): The Speaker of the National Assembly, Honourable Michael Perkins, used an appearance on ‘Working for You on Wednesday, January 15 to clarify the rule regarding Members of the Judiciary being mentioned in Parliament.

“It has its own history as to what brought me to the point where I made a very specific ruling that unless a member brings a substantive motion to the house to deal with any judge, magistrate, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) or the Registrar of the High Court, unless that person in their official capacity is brought up in the debate through a substantive motion, I would not tolerate these persons and their offices being brought into the debate of the House.”

Speaker Perkins noted that although the Standing Orders speak specifically to judges, he felt it was important to make such ruling.

“…Using my discretion of authority which I have, you know you have analyzed things, you have to understand what is being said and why, and I felt very uncomfortable. I find we were going down a dangerous path of questioning such high-ranking members of the judiciary,” said the honourable speaker. “The judiciary, that’s like the backbone of our good governance and so I simply could no longer allow members to be in a way accusing these persons of wrong doings or questioning their conduct.”

The honourable speaker is appealing to members of parliament to desist from such behaviour and reiterated that “there is now a ruling which says members would not be allowed to bring up the names of judges, magistrates, the DPP or the Registrar of the High Court in the debates unless it is through a substantive motion.”

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