ONE attorney says regulations which alter the way of life cannot be “conceived in secret and sanctioned by a select few.”
Attorney Kiel Taklalsingh offered his own views on Friday’s ruling by Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh, who, while upholding the Government’s covid19 regulations, said the regulations which make it a criminal offence if someone breaches the guidelines for places of worship were unlawful.
Boodoosingh suggested there be some form of parliamentary oversight of the regulations, urging the Attorney General to consider “at minimum, some form of appropriate Parliament scrutiny for regulations made by the executive where normal everyday freedoms are affected, as has occurred here.”
Taklalsingh agreed, saying Parliament was “perhaps the only institution through which citizens can participate in the process of making law.”
“It isn’t a perfect system. The population still remains somewhat detached and alienated from legislative progression. However, despite its imperfections, the model of representative democracy which exists deserves our protection and respect.
“Regulations which alter our way of life cannot be conceived in secret and sanctioned by a select few. This is not an elitist undertaking. It should be a process that is subjected to the highest threshold of scrutiny by our elected representatives.
“Parliamentary debate is the crucible from which emerges robust law for our collective benefit,” he added.
Taklalsingh said it was not to say that the end-product of the regulations and guidelines were all bad, but he said there appeared to be loopholes for selective exploitation.
“They empower the police to deal aggressively with certain circumstances yet render them powerless to treat with scenarios that are perhaps more familiar to those that promulgated them into law.
“This is why Parliamentary input was so important. The collective experience, backgrounds and consultatively acquired knowledge of each MP and Senator would have been harnessed and infused into these critically required regulations,” he said.
“The very session of parliament which recently enacted law to give the Minister of Health power to create these regulations could have been used to debate them. Legislative devices can be included for emergency amendment to be subsequently approved by Parliament,” the attorney added.