Committee seeks proposals for constitution reform

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Chair of the NACCR Barendra Sinanan – File photo

THE NATIONAL Advisory Committee on Constitutional Reform (NACCR) is inviting individuals and corporate citizens to submit their recommendations for constitutional reform.

Over the past few weeks, the eight-member committee, chaired by former speaker Barendra Sinanan, has been focused on developing strategies to encourage citizens locally and throughout the diaspora to send their recommendations on reforming the constitution.

“Our Constitution is the cornerstone of the nation’s commitment to upholding fundamental human rights, ensuring social justice, public accountability and creating a strong and inclusive democratic framework to guide its future development in the interest of the welfare, prosperity, and happiness of citizens,” Sinanan said in a release dated March 1.

“The committee intends to promote a citizen-centred approach to reform and will be implementing a campaign to illustrate the importance of the Constitution to each of us while reaching out to all citizens through traditional and social media announcements, and public consultations.”

It intends to engage a broad cross-section of individual and corporate citizens, including political parties, NGOs, the corporate sector, religious bodies, trade unions, educators and students.

The committee is also planning to launch a website where citizens can download the Constitution and review helpful information, including the proposals of previous commissions and committees.

In the meantime, the committee is inviting interested people to visit the Parliament website, under the Constitution section.

The Prime Minister announced the Cabinet’s approval of the appointment of the advisory committee for constitutional reform on January 17. Dr Rowley said the committee is expected to formulate terms of reference for a national consultation on the issue.

He also believed it was an appropriate time to evaluate, amend and enhance the Constitution, as many people had called for it.

Recommendations will be synthesised and compiled into a working document for a national constitution conference in June 2024.

The committee invites citizens to submit their recommendations via e-mail to [email protected], or to the secretary of the National Advisory Committee on Constitutional Reform, Level 21, Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, 1A Wrightson Road, Port of Spain.

Committee members:

Dr Terrence Farrell
Nizam Mohammed
Helen Drayton
Hema Narinesingh
Winston Rudder
Jacqueline Sampson-Miguel
Raye Sandy