Constitutional Rights

AuthorDerence A. Rolle Davis
Derence Rolle Davis
Any person that builds and owns a house wants to have the occupants
abide by its rules. In this instance, The Bahamas determined that it would have a
Constitution. Unlike our previous landlords, the British, we decided to have a
written Constitution to govern how and why we act the way that we do.
Enshrined in this Constitution, are the rights, freedoms and expectations of each
citizen and visitor to our shores. To put it into context, anyone that comes to our
homeland is treated the same way as we the owners of this home.
The Legal Effect
The case of Government of the USA vs. Viktor Kozeny [2012] UKPC 10 is
about the constitutional principle that the Privy Council has no jurisdiction to
entertain an appeal by a detainer against a grant of habeas corpus in The Bahamas
unless jurisdiction is given by the Constitution of The Bahamas or a statute law
of The Bahamas. It was decided that the 1994 and 2004 Extradition Act do not
give the detainer a right of appeal to the Judicial Committee, only to the Court of
Appeal. The Supreme Court ordered the release of Viktor Kozeny.
Any arrested person is entitled under Article 19(2) of The Constitution of
The Bahamas to instruct without delay a legal representative of his own choice
and to hold private communication with him. If an arrested person is under 18,
he is additionally entitled under the same section to be afforded a reasonable
opportunity for communication with his parent or guardian.
These rights which are enshrined in The Constitution are also reflected in
express provisions in the Police Force Standing Orders at para 17 of section C4.
Those Orders go further because paragraph 20 requires the police, when a minor
is in custody, to contact an appropriate adult as soon as practicable and to ask
him or her to come to the police station. An appropriate adult is, by paragraph
22, a parent or guardian, a social worker, or, failing such a person, some other
responsible adult who is neither a police officer nor a police employee. The same
requirement is now mandated by statute in section 112(1) of the Child
Protection Act, 2007. 30
30 Other laws passed during this year are the Parliamentary Elections Amendment Act, 2012 and
the Payment Systems Act, 2012.

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