Providenciales, 18 Nov 2014 – Lots of confusion in the House of Assembly today when it came to this bill to repeal juryless trials; but finally, around 3:30pm it was passed in the House and committed to the Committee of the Whole House for consideration.
Moments before the Attorney General, Rhondalee Knowles explained that she had not been privy to the bill and not been consulted on its drafting by government and even said it was not right for the PNP side to bring the bill to the floor of the House of Assembly. Knowles, explained that it is unprecedented and never before in the territory has Parliament come behind a court decision to try to create a law that goes against legislation the constitution and a Privy Council decision. Already the court has decided that trial without jury will stand… this in the case of former Premier Mike Misick and others who are facing the situation where currently the judge alone will determine their fate once their trials for alleged corruption while in government begins. Nonetheless, and though it seemed the bill would be killed… it survived and Hon Ruth Blackman who tabled the bill to repeal juryless trials got a seconder for it to be committed.
It was after Hon DonHue Gardiner returned to the House and offered that it would be wrong for members to aim to pre-empt what the committee would decide in relation to the bill that the Speaker agreed, and invited Blackman to move for the bill to repeal the juryless trial law to go to the committee stage.