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White Paper on constitutional reform not prepared by me

Published: 
Tuesday, April 3, 2012

 

A report in the Guardian of March 30 cites THA Chief Secretary Orville London as saying that a White Paper on constitutional reform was prepared years ago by a group of technocrats which included Dr Eastlyn McKenzie and me. The report further cites London as saying that this document is more in keeping with what Tobagonians want than the Green Paper recently issued by the Government. A White Paper is a document setting out a government’s policy on a particular issue. It is usually laid in Parliament for debate. I have never written a White Paper for any government on the subject of constitutional reform. I have consulted McKenzie, who is as mystified as I. Both of us would therefore welcome clarification of the remarks attributed to London.
 
The Guardian report also states that the Government said I was the “architect” of the Green Paper. In fact, the Government’s media release of March 21 (to parts of which I have taken public exception) says that the Government decided that a Green Paper “should be prepared and published for the comments of the people of Trinidad and Tobago” and that the paper “was prepared by the Law Reform Commission.” I accept that the paper in part used material from my team, but it also utilised material from teams headed by Dr John Prince and Christo Gift SC. Would that make them “architects” as well?
 
The Guardian of March 31 cites THA Minority Leader Ashworth Jack as saying that the Green Paper has a lot in common with the previous White Paper because I was involved in producing both. As indicated above, I know nothing about a White Paper on the matter and therefore could not have been involved in its production. Re the Green Paper, my comments above are relevant. I would also welcome clarification of the remarks attributed to Jack.                                                                                                                                                          
 
Reginald Dumas
Bacolet

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