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AG: Utilise Constitution booklet

October 30, 2022
Attorney-General of Barbados, Dale Marshall. (BGIS)

As Barbadians prepare to contribute to the shaping of the new Constitution, Attorney General Dale Marshall, is encouraging them to familiarise themselves with the booklet – The Barbados Constitution: Facts and Questions, in an effort “to become more informed about the inner workings” of the document.

This booklet was prepared by former Law Librarian of The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Professor Velma Newton, who was called on by the Forde Commission of 1997 to produce the document.

In the preface of the revised edition, which was commissioned by the Office of the Attorney General, Mr. Marshall said: “I sincerely hope that Barbadians will all fully use this publication to become more informed about the inner workings of our Constitution, and in the process, subject itto critical examination. This will no doubt be a catalyst for wide engagement and dialogue throughout the important consultative process in the months ahead.

“…It is a privilege for us to have the intellectual depth of Professor Newton still available, and she has very kindly agreed to update her original publication to again play a role in the public education thrust.”

The Attorney General reminded that “Constitutions are living documents” that must allow for amendments over time, to meet the changing needs of their societies.

He noted that Barbados’ Constitution had been amended 27 times. “Some of those amendments were of tremendous national import and signalled a desire to change some fundamentals about how we govern ourselves as a nation.

“In this category would fall the recent amendments that were required for Barbados to transition away from the monarchical system of government to a republican form of government,” Mr. Marshall explained.

The Barbados Constitution: Facts and Questions booklet and the Constitution of Barbados are available for download on the Constitution Reform Commission’s website, and on the Barbados Government Information Service’s website. (BGIS)

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