World Boss vs Bulb Boss
The Rule of Law is floundering in Jamaica!
"It is when your spirit goes wandering upon the wind,
That you, alone and unguarded, commit a wrong unto others and therefore unto yourself.
And for that wrong committed must you knock and wait a while unheeded at the gate of the blessed.
...And of the man in you would I now speak.
For it is he and not your god-self nor the pigmy in the mist, that knows crime and the punishment of crime."
By Kahlil Gibran
I feel compelled to point to the glaring hypocrisy at the core of much of the media commentaries surrounding the Whirl Boss and his conviction. Many have been quick to lambaste him, as maybe he deserves to be, but I ask... "What part did the gatekeepers of information have in building the Vybz Kartel they are no so quick to turn their back on?" Were not the media gatekeepers too neglecting their social responsibility by not better regulating the airwaves, and not filtering what was being syphoned to the nation?
I would like to point to the glaring hypocrisy at the core of the decision to free Kern "Bulb Boss" Spencer. The government has show its will to decisively uphold the rule of law, is weak. We live in a time and political climate in Jamaica where the state seems committed to consistently criminalizing and targeting the marginalized and those not able to buy the best lawyers with political connections. Rarely, if ever are corrupt politicians and white collar criminals brought to justice. Hence the nation has no faith in the justice system, nor does it believe in the institutions charged with maintaining law and order.
I am also compelled to point out the rule of law to our ministries of security and justice… The rule of law is concerned with the processes and the relationships amongst individual and state, how it is enforced and administered. This crucial idea is sprung from the concept of the rule of law as it has developed in the UK and is adopted here in Jamaica. As it is posited by legal mind Albert Venn Dicey’s understanding “the law should not be arbitrarily or capriciously administered by those in power.”
The government has shown the will and impetus for legislating anti-gang laws with haste, not to mention scamming and fraud bills, haste to the point where we have public smoking legislature that wasn't thoroughly thought through! But we have a government weak willed on effecting medical marijuana legislature and decriminalizing marijuana if not simply legalizing it... when the trend worldwide has been to wake up to the benefits of marijuana for the economy, production and so much more...
The Jamaican Court is a one of a kind in the world. No other such structure exists! Its engineering is ad hoc and arbitrary. The Constitution of Jamaica implicitly states that the power or duties of each arm of government should not overlap. Yet Resident Magistrates don’t have security of tenure as part of the public service and falls within the executive arm of the state. Hence the Court System we have before us may very well contravene the constitution and the notion of the separation of powers as well as undermining the doctrine of rule of law owing to its arbitrary nature.
Let us not forget the mess made in the creation of the gun court, it was a failure in scholarship and jurisprudence. The unusual features of the Gun Court have faced legal hurdles, some of which have forced amendment of the Gun Court Act. The Gun Court has faced criticism on several fronts, most notably for its departure from traditional practices and for the continuing escalation in gun violence since its institution.
A 1993 County Report on Human Rights Practices in Jamaica from the United States Department of State noted the denial of a "fair public trial" and alleged that Gun Court trials observe "less rigorous rules of evidence than in regular court proceedings." The Canadian Bar Association's Jamaican Justice System Reform Task Force noted that the Gun Court is overloaded, that defendants are not well represented, and Crown attorneys are often inexperienced. Hence even internationally it is evident and plain to see that we are a unique court system and a particularly arbitrary one!
If we are to move forward as a nation we must cut these wretched social and political hypocrisies in our system... we cannot have one justice system for the rich and one for the poor.
I close with a quote from - John Adams, “Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.”