The Cabinet of the Government of Barbados wishes to announce the establishment of a Republican Status Transition Advisory Committee (RSTAC) to help plan and manage the transition of Barbados from a monarchical to a republican system. The acting Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Hughland Allman, will be responsible for servicing the committee.
The members of the Committee are as follows:
• Dr. Marion Williams GCM (Chair)
• Revd. Dr. John Rogers
• Hon. Lolita Applewaithe CHB
• Ms. Chereda Grannum
• Mr. Suleiman Bulbulia, J.P.
• Most Hon. Patrick Frost FB, SCM (Retired Teacher and eminent Trade Unionist)
• Ms. Shirley Bell
• Ms. Cyndi Marshall
• Mr. Adrian Green
- Mrs. Cecile Humphrey (Retired Cabinet Secretary)
Barbados has had two previous constitutional review commissions in 1977 and 1994, headed by Sir Mencea Cox and Sir Henry Forde, respectively. Sir Henry Forde’s Commission recommended the manner in which we should settle all of the arrangements for the President.
Guided by this, the new RSTAC committee will be required to discuss rights, responsibilities and aspirations and to specifically include the youth and the diaspora. Over the next few weeks, the public will be given an opportunity to send their ideas to the Committee and to attend its public meetings.
Terms of Reference for the RSTAC:
a) To review the previous work done on the subject, including the Report of the Constitution Review Commission,1998, and the draft Constitution Bill, 2004, thereby determining the legislative and procedural changes that may be required in respect of the latter;
b) To advise on the required reform measures necessary to achieve this status, recognising that the Committee’s work is to play a fundamental role in developing the roadmap for the Nation’s future generations in claiming their destiny;
c) To recommend the constitutional requirements necessary to effect the change and to recommend the type of Presidency, the powers and tenure of the President, and to determine the ceremonial and legal implications of the Presidential status;
d) To indicate the impact the Presidential status will have on the Public Service;
e) To produce a Report which is expected to have short, medium and long term, perspectives and which identifies the policies which underpin its work;
f) To indicate the manner in which the key institutions of Government are to function;
g) The Report should also:
i) Emphasise the primacy of identity consciousness of Barbadians, identifying the salient national characteristics and encouraging their positive and constructive display and so seek to enhance national consciousness or the ‘Soul of the Nation’;
ii) Address the matter of individual freedoms reinforce the values of religious, spiritual and racial tolerance and related values such as respect and dignity;
iii) Reflect the rights, obligations, ambitions and expectations of the people of Barbados;
iv) Examine the benefit and possibilities of Barbados’ becoming a multi-lingual country since some of its neighbours speak languages other than English.
h) In preparation of the plan, to liaise with other Committees who are working or who have been working on related areas and to engage citizens and organisations of Barbados, the Barbadian diaspora and the youth on the matter;
i) To review our honours system;
j) Submit the Committee’s medium term Report by June 30th and a final Report at the end of September 2021;
A schedule of the Committee’s public engagements will be submitted to the public shortly. Given the extensive discussions which have already taken place under the aegis of other Commissions, it is expected that the process will allow for celebrations as promised in the Governor General’s last throne speech.