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Mar 30, 2017

A.G. Says G.G. is Constrained by the Law, Not the Senate’s Wishes

Michael Peyrefitte

Can the Government safely ignore the consideration of the Senate in deciding to pass on the PACT (Amendment) Bill to the Governor General? Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte refuted our suggestion that the advice, if not consent of the Senate, is as important as the deliberation of the House. He explained that the Senate may have its views, but if they clash with those of the House, then it is the House that prevails. Governor General Young, he added, must consider only the legislative history of the Bill, including its rejection by the Senate, but he believes he will ultimately be constrained to agree with the Government.

 

Reporter

“The other issue is that the Senate gave its advice, if you will – not its consent, but certainly its advice – and that seems to be something being run roughshod over.”

 

Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“No, the Senate does not give advice; the Senate votes on matters before it; so then what you are saying, if you use your logic…”

 

Reporter

“Perhaps advice is not the right word…”

 

Michael Peyrefitte

“What the Senators who voted against, what they wanted is their vote to override the Constitution? The Constitution is the supreme law of the land – it is supreme to the National Assembly laws, supreme to the Standing Orders of the Senate and the House; it is the supreme law of the land. And the Governor General and the Attorney General both have to follow the supreme law of the land, which states that the Senate cannot block a money bill. Now if those Senators who are so-called aggrieved Senators want to change the Constitution, they need to put their names on a ballot, run for office, win the election and form the Government and then they can change the Constitution; but until they do, the Constitution states that the Senate cannot block nor delay a Money Bill passed by the House. Whether we like it or not, that is the law.”

 

Reporter

“Fair enough. In terms of the Governor General’s assent, what does he take into consideration?”

 

Michael Peyrefitte

“Section (78) 1; he takes into consideration the law. The Governor General, I am sure, will take into consideration the law and he will say, “Is this a Money Bill? Yes, this is a Money Bill; was it passed by the House? Yes. Was it rejected by the Senate? Yes; but it being a Money Bill, the Governor General, in my view, would therefore have to assent because the Constitution tells him he has to assent. And I don’t imagine that the Governor General will break the law – that is the law. I am sorry if those Senators believed they had more power than they thought they had; I don’t if this is a let-down. I don’t know that if they thought that with the advent of the thirteenth Senator, being the obstructionists that they are, that they will block the Government now. I am sorry – somebody lied to you; somebody didn’t understand the Constitution, or you didn’t read it yourself.”

 

We will have more from Attorney General Peyrefitte on Friday. 

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1 Response for “A.G. Says G.G. is Constrained by the Law, Not the Senate’s Wishes”

  1. Jack Ed says:

    Let me try digest this. If senate has no power if GG can’t dissent because Senate does not pass why do we have a senate and a GG? Lets cut salary expenditures since their work is irrelevant because GOB wants to do as they please. Business just as usual – no respect for the people. That AG and reps work for the people but he forgot. .. this is not democracy!

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