Editorial: Constitutional review

POSTED: 01/30/13 2:07 PM

The Ombudsman’s decision to take the new penal code to the Constitutional Court for review is a wise one – and one some might even consider courageous.

The review of the articles about animal cruelty and about higher penalties for crimes against tourists will be an interesting exercise. These are the articles the parliament and the Justice Ministry have tinkered with, and it appears now that the Ombudsman considers the possibility that these measures are unconstitutional.

Whether this is really the case is obviously up to the Constitutional Court. We have written before that it would be a good idea to submit this legislation for review. No matter what the outcome of the procedure is, it will guarantee St. Maarten a penal code that holds up against the constitution. It is too early for opponents of organized cock fights to cry victory, but given the arguments the Ombudsman presented yesterday the chances that the Constitutional Court will void the article is real – and the same goes for the higher punishments for crimes committed against tourists.

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