Equality Rights group GGR - Citizenship in Democracy EQUALITY RIGHTS GGR

News and Information from Gibraltar on Equality, Human, Gay and Social Rights

Sunday, August 06, 2006

New Constitution is a bad move for Gibraltar!

Equality Rights Group GGR has today commented on recent remarks by Chief Justice Derek Schofield in which he expressed the Judiciary’s disappointment that the proposed new Constitution should not have fully incorporated the European Convention of Human Rights. GGR believes the new Constitution is a “bad move for Gibraltar.”

“GGR has been saying the same thing all along, and we welcome the Chief Justice’s clear public view on this. We have always said the new Constitution is gravely deficient from day one and we have maintained our view even when we stood alone. From the first announcement of an agreed text for the Constitution, we have clearly stated that this exercise is a missed opportunity to bring real progress for Gibraltar, providing only benefits to the political apparatus while conferring practically none to the ordinary citizen. We maintain that view. We are pleased, therefore, to see that both the SDGG and the Veterans group have subsequently come to the same conclusions, though perhaps from different perspectives, whilst noting that the VOGG may be less uniformly decided in their conclusions. It is noteworthy that citizens at grass roots level should have this view while the politicians – now in unison – have adopted an opposite approach.”

“Acceptance at referendum of the new Constitution is acceptance of a missed opportunity to really bring Gibraltar up to standard with modern democratic values and self-determination for citizens at all levels. It is a partial text with only a partial solution and, whilst the “yes” argument is that something is better than nothing we cannot agree: accepting the new text is to paralyse any possibility of really introducing the kind of changes Gibraltar needs for a very, very long time indeed. A “no” vote will have the exactly opposite effect.”

“Given the resources and financial support the “yes” vote will have in blasting their message across the population, we are not hopeful that the new Constitution will be rejected. It is therefore all the more important that the GSLP/Liberals re-think their position by supporting the possibility of building real and lasting self-determination for Gibraltarians at all democratic levels and not settle for less.”