Specific laws needed to target discrimination – Golding

Mark Golding, Jamaica's Minister of Justice, has acknowledged that more specific legislation is needed to adequately deal with certain types of discrimination in the country.

Mr. Golding, speaking on RJR's "Beyond the Headlines" on Thursday, accepted that although the Charter of Rights gives Constitutional protection to individuals, the laws need to be more targeted.

He said this would offer more relief for those who suffer discrimination for one reason or another.

“It was designed in such a way that it has put some limits on the ability of those minority groups to use the Constitution as a tool for challenging laws that they consider to be not in their interest. I don’t think the courts under the present configuration are the not mechanism by which persons will be vindicated. I think it will require some legislative intervention.”    

He added that despite this, lawmakers should be braver to pass these laws, while bearing in mind the context of the dominant views of the Jamaican society.    

The Justice Minister was speaking against the background of a report issued by the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) regarding Jamaica.

The Washington D.C. based IACHR has cited what it calls an alarming level of violence in Jamaica as a continuing area of concern.

After several years of monitoring the island, the Commission said violence has affected all sectors of the society and leads to a progressive deterioration of human rights.

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