Attorney and Government Member of Parliament for Port-of-Spain South, Keith Scotland has disagreed with the Law Association’s view that police have no legal cover to enter the homes of private citizens under the public health ordinance.
Scotland, who is a member of the Law Association, made his views public in a statement yesterday, saying Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley was right on the matter.
“I am fortified in my view that the honourable prime minister was plainly right, having regard to the regulations and the attendant jurisprudence, together with common law alternatives,” Scotland stated.
“I am a member of Parliament for Port-of-Spain South, a member of the People’s National Movement and a member of the Law Association. But first and foremost I am a citizen of the of Trinidad and Tobago and would urge that we all do our part in managing the spread of the virus and flattening the curve,” the stated.
“Our law enforcement have the powers to act, whether it be through regulations or common law but the true solution can only be realised through our collective responsibility and effort as a society,” Scotland stated.
The Law Association said Friday that the new public health ordinance introduced on Friday morning after Dr Rowley hosted a news conference on COVID-19 on Thursday, did not give police the right to enter private property. In fact, the association said to use the ordinance in such a manner would be “illegal”.
Senior Counsel Martin Daly and attorney Larry Lalla also raised concerns about the PM’s position.
Also commenting on the topic yesterday was UNC Barataria/San Juan Member of Parliament Saddam Hosein.
During a news conference in Port-of-Spain Hosein sided with the Law Association’s stance saying Rowley’s interpretation of the matter was illegal.
Hosein said the fact that no member of the Law Association executive distanced themselves from the statement was evidence enough that they were certain of the stance taken.
He made his statements before Scotland distanced himself from it.
Hosein called on Rowley to state which attorney gave him legal advice on the matter.
Hosein said if Rowley was right then Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi should be charged for his involvement in an arm-wrestling match and games which contravened the laws.