Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Jamaica’s constitutional framework requires clarification and redefinition.

Holness made the comment after declaring a State of Public Emergency in the parish of St. Catherine Friday morning in response to high incidents of organised criminal activity.

The prime minister contends that Jamaica’s legal framework when crafted did not anticipate what the country would be facing today.

Chevon Campbell tells us more.


Prime Minister Holness faced with escalating violence has declared yet another State of Public Emergency.

This will afford the security forces fourteen days to deal with what they and the government believe is deeply entrenched criminal activity.

Any additional time beyond that will require the assent of at least one Opposition Senator.

This is something Mr. Holness based on recent history is aware he’s unlikely to get.

With the parish facing a 30 per cent increase in murders this year, according to the Prime Minister, even without a declaration, St. Catherine is in a state of public emergency.

However, he says the threats faced today are far more sophisticated than could have been readily envisioned in past years.

Dons, Guns, and misguided youth, that’s what Prime Minister Holness says must be addressed.

All three were on display this past week in the Old Capital leaving three people dead and locals fearful.

The prime minister says under these circumstances, the state requires exceptional powers.

His comments came mere hours before the administration was dealt another blow in the courts.

The Constitutional Court today awarded nearly $18 million to a man, holding that aspects of the Emergency Powers Regulations were in breach of his Fundamental Rights and Freedoms.

Mr Holness has on numerous occasions called on the country’s justice system not to be deaf to the suffering of innocent Jamaicans.

The prime minister says it’s on behalf of those individuals that he exercises his authority within the bounds of the law.