President Anthony Carmona has assented to the SSA Amendment Bill, paving the way for it to actually be implemented.
A statement from the Office of the President all bills require pause and cause and says the security of citizens and fundamental rights and freedoms are of paramount importance to the President.
The following is a statement from the Office of the President:
"His Excellency Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, O.R.T.T., S.C., President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, today, 31 May 2016, assented to the Strategic Services Agency (Amendment) Bill (“the Bill”). The Office of the President received the Bill on 16 May 2016. The Strategic Services Agency (Amendment) Act No. 4 of 2016 amends the Strategic Services Agency Act, Chap. 15:06 of the Laws of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
In every Bill to be assented, there is always a need or cause for pause. The assenting to Bills can neither be pre-emptive or instanter, often dependent upon His Excellency’s consultation and receipt of legal advice. Accordingly, assenting to Bills of this Republic, will continue to be for His Excellency the President, a process of constitutional and legal reflection, analysis and determination vis-a-vis his duties and responsibilities pursuant to section 61(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Section 61(2) states, “When a Bill is presented to the President for assent, he shall signify that he assents or withholds his assent.”
The Strategic Services Agency (Amendment) Act No. 4 of 2016 engaged His Excellency’s remit with the highest regard to the national security interests and democratic well-being of our Republic. The President has paid careful heed, and acknowledges the impressive jurisprudential arguments, in and out of the Parliament, by the public at large, both for and against the various legislative amendments, inclusive those concerning privacy and fundamental rights and freedoms.
His Excellency assures that our Republic’s safety, the security of its citizens and our fundamental rights and freedoms are of paramount importance to him always. It is therefore expected that the operation of the Strategic Services Agency (Amendment) Act No. 4 of 2016, will be engaged meaningfully and justly, with regard and respect for the rule of law, due process and the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago."
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