Chairperson of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) Mrs Lisa Penn-Lettsome said the people of the Virgin Islands (VI) are not fully participating in the constitutional review consultations, even after the commission has worked on building awareness and ensuring people know what the process is about.
“We have done considerable outreach… Our Commissioners have gone to considerable lengths and trouble to put together information that the public will find very useful, very interesting, and if you don't go to the website you can't get it," she said.
Penn-Lettsome added that the information available includes articles, cases, the previous Constitution, the current Constitution and its amendments, the 2005 report, and more.
She said other documents uploaded to the website include the role of the governor, separation of powers, the role of the governor in overseas territories, and the possibility of direct rule.
“But in spite of that, in spite of all the radio and television ads… to date we have had submitted eight comments, and we've had three persons book to come and visit us during the day,” Lettsome-Penn said at the launch of the CRC’s consultation meetings last Friday, November 11, 2022.
According to Mrs Penn-Lettsome, the
people of the VI are not taking ownership of this exercise, adding that
she does not buy the excuse of persons not hearing about the process.
'Take ownership'- Penn-Lettsome
According to Mrs Penn-Lettsome, the people of the VI are not taking ownership of this exercise, adding that she does not buy the excuse of persons not hearing about the process.
The CRC Chair added that persons saying they have not heard of the review process, "probably suggests that it is something you don't really want to hear about or you haven't put yourself out there because but it's there, ”
She called on people in the VI to take more interest in the process, "if this were another overseas territory... I think the responses would have been a bit more vibrant," Mrs Penn-Lettsome concluded.
See the schedule of community meetings below: