"THE JLP WILL TAKE LEGAL ACTION" - Holness tells Central Executive

Release Date: 
Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 09:45

At a meeting of the Central Executive of the Jamaica Labour Party on Sunday March 9, the Leader of the JLP, Mr. Andrew Holness, members of the meeting, that a legal team had been appointed to protect the human rights of the people of West Kingston, to seek to have the truth told, and to look into the fairness and impartiality of the imminent Commission of Enquiry.  Mr. Holness advised the meeting that the legal team was headed by Alexander Williams, the Opposition Spokesperson on Justice and includes Mr. Harold Malcom, a human rights law lecturer at UTECH.

He stated, "The appointment of Ms. Velma Hylton Q.C., in light of her anti-human rights statements made to a similar Commission, reveals the PNP's true objective in establishing this Commission of Enquiry.

"There is no doubt that Ms. Hylton is a highly qualified attorney-at-law, however, I am advised that the law on 'apparent bias' is clear.  Her previous participation in a Commission of Enquiry looking at the actions of security forces in West Kingston together with her expressed views, create real concerns about the Commission's ultimate findings on matters of human rights and the use of force in the context of the very same West Kingston."

He continued, "If the Prime Minister does not take action, or Ms. Hylton does not recuse herself, the Jamaica Labour Party will take legal action at the appropriate time.  That decision has been made."

He reminded the meeting that the Party continues to believe that the Commission of Enquiry is a part of the PNP's election strategy, and that this had been clear from the start.  Among other things, he pointed out their claims of transparency while refusing to amend the Commission of Enquiries Act, to include a transparent process for the appointment of Commissioners, even though it had been suggested by a current senior member of the Cabinet when they were in opposition.