EAC/ECJ Conventions for the Resolution of Disagreements, Disputes, and Grievances

First with the EAC, and latterly with the ECJ, the practice emerged whereby disagreements and disputes between political parties were referred to the Selected Members for resolution. Over time the convention development whereby Nominated Members accepted the unanimous decisions of the Selected Members as final, thus making it a unanimous decision on the matters referred for resolution. Two difference conventions and procedures evolved depending on the nature of the dispute. The procedures for differences related to electoral reform were separated from disputes related to constituency boundaries which occurred in periods of General Reviews. Continue reading

Convention of the EAC/ECJ on the Location of Polling Stations

First, the EAC, followed by the ECJ, established a Convention for the Location of Polling Stations. This came about because the location of polling stations had become a contentious and controversial issue. There were instances in which supporters of one political party or another had resorted to strong-armed tactics in seeking to change the location of a polling station for one reason or another. Continue reading

Convention for Advising the Standing Committee on Boundaries of the Parliament

The Parliament of Jamaica is obliged to act on the advice on its Standing Committee on Boundaries with respect to the number of constituencies into which Jamaica is divided and the boundaries of these constituencies. Further, the Constitution specifies that every four to six years the Standing Committee on Boundaries should conduct a general review of boundaries and make adjustment were the number of electors in a constituency falls below or rises above limits prescribed by formulae explicitly stated the Constitution. The Standing Committee on Boundaries is comprised of the Speaker of the House, who is the Chairman and two representatives each, named by the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition. Continue reading

Conventions of the Jamaican Parliament on Electoral Matters

In Jamaican democracy the people are sovereign. The elected representatives of the people in Parliament, exercise sovereign authority on behalf of the people. The Electoral Commission, and formerly the EAC, are committees of the Parliament and therefore subordinate to the Parliament. Accordingly, the ECJ cannot dictate to Parliament. The legislation is generated by the political party holding the majority of elected members in the Parliament. At their discretion a Draft Bill or Report may be submitted to a Standing Committee comprised of members of the Government and Opposition of the House of Representative or the Senate or to a Joint Committee comprised of members of both the House and the Senate before consideration and passage by either House or Senate and eventually by both. Continue reading