DFP expects submission on Anti-Terrorism Bill to be part of review process

DFP leader, Kent Vital

The Dominica Freedom Party (DFP), like the United Workers Party (UWP), has revealed that its recommendations on the government’s proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill were submitted to Attorney General Levi Peter well in advance of the final deadline.

The Bill was originally slated to be read three times in Parliament and passed into law on Monday, June 25, 2018, but both parties expressed strong concern about certain sections of the Bill and their supporters protested peacefully outside parliament on the day that the Bill was to have been passed.

The Bill was read only once in Parliament and the other two readings were postponed to give some time for recommendations and comments to be be submitted to the Attorney General. The original deadline of July 15, 2018 was subsequently extended to July 27, 2018.

Peter announced last week that the review process had started and that only submissions that had been received before the final deadline would be considered.

In a letter dated July 13, 2018, addressed to the Attorney General, a copy of which was obtained by Dominica News Online (DNO), Leader of the DFP, Kent Vital, outlined what he described as “broad suggestions” for adjustments to the bill before it is taken back to parliament.

He questioned the amount of time given for submissions and suggested that a minimum of three months would have been more appropriate.

On the matter of the party’s position on “substantive issues and suggestions” relating to the Bill, Vital wrote:

“We note that Section 2, Subsection 2 of Dominica Anti-terrorism Bill, provides an exception to section 3 (general definition of terrorist Act), we note the general intention contained in this section and that a similar intent is reflected in the UN model legislation and in most such Acts of other countries.”

He added that Jamaica goes a step further and says “this Act shall be interpreted and administered so as to ensure Jamaica’s conformity with its international obligations while protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution” and recommended that a similar clause be included in Dominica’s legislation.

“Given the present climate of extreme political mistrust in our country, it would be wise for the Government of Dominica to seek to place sufficient “guarantee” clauses into the Anti-terrorism Bill including those like the one above, in order to allay fear associated with political mistrust.  It is better to seek peace than to create contention,” Vital noted.

Another major concern of the party has to do with detention under the legislation.

” Section 43 of Dominica’s Anti-terrorism Bill allows a police officer (with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecution) to go before the Court ex parte and obtain a detention order.  It does not say that the detainee must appear before the court; it does not say that he has to be given an opportunity to be heard and represented,” Vital pointed out. “In effect, it is allowing a person suspected of a terrorist act, to be arrested and detained for up to 14 days without being charged, without appearing before the court.”

He said this was a matter of concern to everyone, because of the possibility of being arrested under the wide provisions discussed earlier,” Vital said.  “Under our constitution, there is a limit of 72 hrs that one can be detained without being brought before the court and given the opportunity to be heard.”

Hence, Vital pointed out, this detention provision, appears to fly dangerously close to an infringement of persons’ constitutional rights.

“We recommend that this section of the bill be adjusted and the provision be made consistent with what is required in the constitution,” the DFP leader advised.

He further explained that Section 55 of Dominica’s Anti-terrorism Bill allows for persons to forthwith disclose information that they have that can assist in the prevention of a terrorist acts or in securing the arrest or prosecution of another person of an offence under the Act, or any offense under any other law and which also constitutes a terrorist act.

“The Bill notes that a person who fails to comply with this is guilty of an offence.  It should be noted firstly that many people could be charged under this section given the wide exceptions to protest and demonstrations as discussed previously,” he noted. “Secondly, the act does not allow for the protection of persons who may wish to provide information yet it obligate persons to make such disclosures.”

He continued, “Some person may be reluctant to provide information due to fear for their safety. We recommend that this provision be reviewed in relation to how such matters may be best addressed.”

Below is the full text of the DFP letter to the Attorney General.

Download (DOCX, 85KB)

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19 Comments

  1. Man bites dogs
    August 22, 2018

    Good day Mr Vidal Kent, I’m a very diehard Labour supporter as most people know by now, and if Dr.Skerrit prime minister was doing wrong i would be the thirst to say P.m. I don’t agree with that crap.But my main concern to you Mr. Kent is to be opposition leader and not a parrot call Lennox Linton, This guy is a waste of time in many other ways too much to mention .

  2. Dominica first
    August 21, 2018

    Mr. Vital,

    The more I read your articles and learn more about you, I am getting convinced you are the right man to lead Dominica in those difficult times.
    DFP, I hope you are ready to work because I can feel the moment is shifting towards you.
    Former Freedom supporters and labour supporters want change but wont vote UWP. Therefore your party could pull an upset in the next general election.

    • Man bites dogs
      August 22, 2018

      @ Dominica first, Hold on pal not to fast take your time, I also like Mr Vidal Kent but he has got to learn a thing or two such as how to keep Lennox Linton, at bay meaning out of office man could you imagine that guy Linton seating in the most powerful office in Dominica? Mr Vidal will be the next opposition leader in the next coming election but still has got much more to learn from Dr Gladiator Skerrit Pm.

  3. Fake News
    August 21, 2018

    Here is the Jamaican observer 3 days ago on the Ross University saga http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/ross-university-defends-decision-to-relocate-to-barbados_141791?profile=1032. When was the last time our DNO said anything about the closure of Ross? The Dominican media placed Ross on the back burner while the regional media has it on the top burner. Can you understand why our people are so uninformed? The US media keeps Trump on their top burner since 2016. In fact not a day will go by without hearing of the Trump 2016 general elections but yet our local media does the opposite.

    • August 21, 2018

      So let’s just follow America, we just got ditched by an American company and we still want to use their standards. Ross is gone and no amount of writing and rehashing of information can change that, move on. Dominicans have spoken some have blamed Skeritt and his administration and others , say they are not to blame, we will survive.

      • Fake News
        August 21, 2018

        @point you talking rubbish! An American company did not ditch Dominica as you alluded but rather, our government blundered and maybe even paved the way to ensure the American school got out since the pm has been very erratic and critical of America. That’s why there should be an investigation so the truth could be seen. Let’s move on you said? Nonesense. We need to know the truth here and that’s why DNO should keep this on their front burner because something definitely went wrong.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7
      • %
        August 21, 2018

        @Point
        I am not aware of any American company ditching Dominica. You must mention the name of this company .If you are alluding to Ross,they left because this DLP is a “cannot do””,deceiptful government. You can’t rule a country by trickery,shenanigans and chichanery .
        Skerrit Must Go
        Skerrit Must Go
        Lazy Skerrit Must Go Now

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8
      • Man bites dogs
        August 22, 2018

        @ fake news, Well well well what is the point of crying over splint milk come on move on every day is a new day,Ross uni has moved on now it is your turn to move on But one thing i know don’t ever let that idiot so-called opposition leader be a leader of Dominica, or else many of you will suck stone! My self and family can run quickly to the UK or Europe Spain, But not many Dominicans has got that opportunities, my massage to you is don’t let that horrible dirty man opposition leader and his rabbits fool you guys the choice is yours but be positive and never let an idiot fool you people again once beaten twice shy.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3
  4. Fake News
    August 21, 2018

    Kudos to the UWP and DFP for their very wise and timely recommendation they made before it became law. But I am not surprised because the opposition UWP / DLP are always concerned about what is in Dominica’s best interest, unlike the Skerrit DLP that’s only concerned about their political interest. But DNO you know I am very disappointed with the “too show too flam” manner you and other local media treated the loss of Ross University after 40 yrs. Apart from Q95 that continues to remind us that Ross University has left Dominica the rest, especially DNO, since it is a well read well respected online news medium has said nothing about the subject in the last seven days. That is particularly sad when other online news medium around the region keep our loss of Ross on their top burner as seen here as one the jamaicanobserver.

  5. August 21, 2018

    The bill is what it is. Move on.

  6. Joseph John
    August 21, 2018

    This is the type of reasonableness that is expected of statesmen. I agree that protection of citizens from terrorism must be all inclusive of all citizens. We have to see that this is Dominica’s part in saving and protection of the WORLD.
    Sir, you have just demonstrated that you have what it takes to be a good leader. There is political party moments and there is national moments and you know the difference.
    Let us see if the government is wise enough to consider your contribution and call you in for discussion on proposed amendments.

    • %
      August 21, 2018

      Well stop your duplicitous attitude of supporting a corrupt DLP today,and DFP tomorrow.Now is not the time for that. Can’t you see that Dominica is in trouble? Thats why Skerrit has used you all as his fools.You feel Vital is a good man,support him .Despite my support for Team Dominica,I like the vibes from Vital too.Not DLP for sure!!!
      Skerrit Must Go
      Skerrit Must Go
      Lazy Skerrit Must Go Now

      • Good Ting
        August 21, 2018

        Skerro ‘s accomplishments has surpassed yours and the UWP regime. I like Skerro laziness, since you are collecting a ckeck without working for it that makes you are Paracite. Wolf in sheep clothing %, you song is dry with no lyrics. POOR baby % . Linton must go and complete high school. Linton must complete high school. Paracite Linton MUST finish high school Now!

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5
  7. %
    August 21, 2018

    Want to congratulate both DFP and the UWP for the recommendations to this bill .Let us wait and see. I know this DLP from their past records cannot be trusted in or for anything.
    Skerrit Must Go
    Skerrit Must Go
    Lazy Skerrit Must Go Now

    • Joseph John
      August 21, 2018

      I wish to congratulate the government for proposing this bill to protect the people of Dominica and helping to protect the world from terrorism. And the bi-partisan manner in which it is being handled. The DFP is showing that they are not afraid of this law because they have no bad intentions. They can put political differences aside and work with the government on national and world issues. Good job guys.

      • %
        August 21, 2018

        Your egregious problem is that you do not READ …The UWP has also submitted recommendations.What is certain is that neither the DFP nor the UWP trust the DLP,a party led by a showman that is highly incompetent.I hope that some of the recommendations come on board.
        Skerrit Must Go
        Skerrit Must Go
        Lazy Skerrit Must Go Now

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 9
      • Joseph John
        August 21, 2018

        Mr 0%…. (Mr. Zero per cent),you have no power over me . I am a free man and can support who ever I want. From now on I am putting you on ignore. The day election is declared I will be monitoring you. I shall give you some facts from victims of D_Day and looting after Maria, and May 29 and victim of looting on that day and looting after David.
        Then you will have enough to call me the names to hell and back . For now bye,……..(mike drop)

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3
    • Is So
      August 21, 2018

      % and views expressed, I think there is open enrollment in Adult Education. No shame in the game. As OUR future PM is that your standard of writing, or is the Dr. Goings to continue writing for you? Next , by insulting people who doesn’t agree with you shows weakness on your part!

      • %
        August 21, 2018

        This blogg is very vague. Can’t understand it.
        Skerrit Must Go
        Skerrit Must Go
        Lazy Skerrit Must Go Now

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

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