Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck, says reports that the government is to make the practice of obeah legal, are untrue.
He says his recent remarks in Parliament on the matter have been misrepresented and has caused him to face much abuse on social media.
Minister Chuck maintains that a new law to protect vulnerable people from being fleeced by those who exploit their beliefs, is what’s being considered.
Stevian Simmonds reports:
Minister Chuck’s recent remarks on plans to repeal the Obeah Act, and to implement a broader legislation aimed at protecting vulnerable people from exploitation, had elicited many angry responses.
In Nationwide’s Public Opinion last week, members of the public expressed their views on the issue.
But, Minister Chuck says there are no plans to legalise that brand of sorcery, which has its roots in West Africa.
The Justice Minister says the government is however contemplating a new legislation that will broadly address fraudulent activities.
Minister Chuck says he understands that the government cannot criminalise people’s beliefs.
But, he says where that belief is exploited, the proposed legislation will be utilized.
The Justice Minister says he agrees with Baptist Pastor, Reverend Devon Dick, who recently argued in an opinion column that criminalising people’s belief systems is unconstitutional and could be challenged in court.
Minister Chuck says the Obeah Act will remain on the books, while the proposed legislation is being contemplated.