Attorney general to advance work on national security laws

Newly reappointed Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte says work will be advanced on several pieces of legislation, which are designed to empower the security forces with the necessary tools to disrupt criminal networks, reduce violence and enhance public order.

Among them is the Enhanced Security Measures Act (ESMA), which will replace the need to have States of Public Emergency.

“We are going to be dealing with, very early, the ESMA. Prime Minister Andrew Holness spoke to that in his address when he was sworn in and we have other pieces of legislation on the security front,” she said.

“The work on the reform of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and matters that are set out in the National Consensus on Crime Management and Prevention, I believe, will also be among the first order of business,” she added.

Malahoo Forte was speaking following the swearing-in ceremony for Cabinet ministers at King’s House yesterday.

She said the prime minister has also signalled that work will be done in the area of constitutional reform.

“We expect the legislative agenda to be quite robust as we look at reforming the existing laws, while dealing with new ones. It is a lot of work ahead of us,” she said.

She thanked the prime minister for again entrusting her with the role of principal legal advisor to the Government.

“It’s an awesome responsibility, so I’m grateful for this opportunity to serve again and I hope to do so well and carefully,” she said.

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