Thursday 22 February 2018

Accountability is essential

Sir -- We elect our President to serve a seven-year term. I believe his or her most significant job is to choose to send, or not to send, a Bill presented to them by our Parliament to the Supreme Court to test all or part of its Constitutionality. They do this after consultation with the Council of State.

It is past time that the outcome of this process -- even when the decision is not to submit a Bill to the Court -- and a report on it, including the advice of each member of the Council of State, be put on the public record. Accountability from both the President and the Council of State to the electorate is a reasonable democratic demand. Without it we are 'buying a pig in a poke'. Accountability ensures that religious or political bias among all in the process would be harder to hide.

That Acts are declared unconstitutional after citizens challenge them is evidence that Presidents have not referred Bills as they might.

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