The National Assembly has formed a committee to review standing orders of the Parliament that will govern parliamentarians in the future.
Leader of Government Business the Hon. Eugene Hamilton announced the committee Wednesday that comprises two members nominated by the Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris and two members nominated by the Leader of the Opposition Dr. Denzil Douglas and the Speaker.
The committee will be chaired by Hamilton and includes the Hon. Vance Amory, the Hon. Patrice Nisbett, the Hon. Konris Maynard and Speaker the Hon. Micheal Perkins
Speaking on the establishment of the committee Opposition MP Sen. Nigel Carty indicated that he believed the main issues with the standing orders are the interpretation of the rules. “I believe that the more fundamental problem we have with respect to the rules of Parliament have nothing to do with what the rules really are, but the issue is the interpretation of the rules of Parliament.”
He believes the current standing orders are good as they are. “I believe irrespective of what a committee may do I believe that the rules as they stand are basically good. What I thinks has gone awry in the concern there is for the interpretation that is a fundamental problem we believe.”
Carty noted that as the committee sits, to put together potentially new rules, part of what needs to happen is they seek to make very clear how those rules are interpreted. “The concern by members of this house certainly on this side the area of the interpretation of the rules has to be considered, a major consideration in any attempt to forge new rules for the parliament.”
Speaker Perkins agreed that the committee that is being established will do exactly what Carty’s concerns highlighted. “That is the purpose of the committee. It should look at the standing orders, every detail and seek to improve of the standing orders make clarifications, remove grey areas so that would be part and parcel of the remit of the committee that is being established.”
Hamilton speaking on the issue said that they will be looking at the rules and examining where improvements are to be made. “We are to look at the rules examine where they are to be improved, look at how we can be very clear in our language of the rules, see how those are to be applied into whatever subsequent rules.”
He also noted that the other parliamentarians will have a say on the matter as a report from the committee will be brought before the Assembly for its approval.
“The outcome from the discussions of this committee returns to this parliament for amendments to the legislation. It is really noncontroversial,” Hamilton said.