40. – Power to make laws

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution parliament may make laws for the peace, order and good government of Saint Lucia.

41.- Alteration of Constitution and Supreme Court Order

(1) parliament may alter any for the provisions of this Constitution or of the Supreme Court Order in the manner specified in the following provisions of this section.

(2) A bill to alter this section, Schedule 1 to this Constitution or any of the provisions of this Constitution specified in Part 1 of that Schedule or any of the provisions of the Supreme Court Order specified in Part II of that Schedule shall not be regarded as being passed by the House unless on its final reading in the House the bill is supported by the votes of not less than three-quarters of all the members of the House.

(3) A bill to alter any of the provisions of this Constitution to, as the case may be, of the Supreme Court Order other than those referred to in subsection (2) of this section shall not be regarded as being passed by the House unless on its final reading in the House the bill is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of the House.

(4) An amendment made by the Senate to a bill to which subsection (2) of this section applies shall not be regarded as being agreed to by the House for the purposes of section 50 of this Constitution unless such agreement is signified by resolution supported by the votes of not less than three-quarters of all the members of the House.

(5) An amendment made by the Senate to a bill to which subsection (3) of this section applies shall not be regarded as being agreed to by the House for the purposes of section 50 of this Constitution unless such agreement is signified by resolution supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of the House.

(6) A bill to alter any of the provisions of this Constitution or the Supreme Court Order shall not be submitted to the Governor-General for his assent –

a) unless there has been an interval of not less than ninety days between the introduction of the bill in the House and the beginning of the proceedings in the House on the second reading of the bill; and

b) if the bill provides for the alteration of this section, Schedule 1 to this Constitution or any of the provisions of this Constitution or the Supreme Court Order specified in that Schedule, unless after it has been passed by the Senate and the House or, in the case of a bill to which section 50 of this Constitution applies after its rejection by the Senate for the second time, the bill has been approved on a referendum, held in accordance with such provision as may be made in that behalf by Parliament, by a majority of the votes validly cast on that referendum.

(7) The provisions of paragraph (b) of subsection (6) of this section shall not apply in relation to any bill to alter_

a) section 107 of this Constitution in order to give effect to any agreement between Saint Lucia and the United Kingdom concerning appeals from any court having jurisdiction in Saint Lucia to Her Majesty in Council;

b) any of the provisions of the Supreme Court Order in order to give effect to any international agreement to which Saint Lucia is a party relating to the Supreme Court or any other court (or any officer or authority having functions in respect of any such court) constituted in common for Saint Lucia and for other countries also parties to the agreement.

(8) Every person who, at the time when the referendum is held would be entitled to vote for the purpose of electing members of the House shall be entitled to vote on a referendum held for the purposes of this section in accordance with such procedures as may be prescribed by Parliament for the purposes of the referendum and no other person shall e entitled so to vote.

(9) In any referendum for the purposes of this section the votes shall be given by ballot in such manner as not to disclose how any particular person votes.

(10) The conduct of any referendum for the purposes of this section shall be the responsibility of the Electoral Commission and the provisions of section 37 and 52 of this Constitution shall apply in relation to the referendum as they apply in relation to election of members of the House and legislation relating thereto.

(11) a) A bill to alter any of the provisions of this Constitution to the Supreme Court Order shall not be submitted to the Governor-General for his assent unless it is accompanied by a certificate under the hand of the Speaker that the provisions of subsection (2), (3), (4) or (5) of this section, as the case may be, have been complied with and, where a referendum has been held in pursuance of subsection (6)(b) of this section, by a certificate under the hand of the Chief Elections Officer stating the results of the referendum.

b) The certificate of the Speaker under this subsection shall be conclusive that the provisions of subsection (2), (3), (4) or (5) of his section, as the case may be, have been complied with and shall not be enquired into in any court of law.

c) In this subsection references to the Speaker shall, if the person holding the office of Speaker is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office and no other person is performing them, include references the Deputy Speaker.

(12) In this section and Schedule 1 to this Constitution references to any of the provisions of this Constitution or the Supreme Court Order include references to any law that alters that provision.

42. – Freedom of speech

Without prejudice to any provisions made by Parliament relating to the powers, privileges and immunities of the Senate or the House and the committees thereof, or the privileges and immunities of the members and officers to the Senate or the House and of other persons concerned in the business of the Senate or the House or the committees thereof, no civil or criminal proceedings may be instituted against any member of the Senate or the House for words spoken before, or written in a report to, the Senate or the House or a committee thereof or by reason of any matter or thing brought by him therein by petition, bill resolution, motion or otherwise.

43. – Oath by members

(1) Every member of the Senate or the House shall, before taking his seat therein, take and subscribe before the Senate or the House, as the case may be, the oath of allegiance but a member may before taking that oath take part in the election of the President or Speaker.

(2) Any person elected to the office of President or Speaker shall, if he has not already taken and subscribed the oath of allegiance under subsection (1) of this section, take and subscribe that oath before the Senate or the House, as the case may be, before entering upon the duties of his office.

 

44. – Presiding

There shall preside at any sitting of the Senate or the House-

a) the President or Speaker;

b) in the absence of the President or Speaker, the Deputy President or Deputy Speaker; or

c) in the absence of the President or Speaker and the Deputy President or Deputy Speaker, such member thereof (not being a member of the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary) as the Senate or the House, as the case may be, may elect for that purpose.

45. – Voting

(1) Save as a otherwise provided in sections 17(7), 18(2) and 41(2), (3), (4) and (5) of this Constitution, any question proposed for decision in the Senate or the House shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the members present and voting.

(2) A question shall not be regarded as having been validly determined by a vote in the Senate or the House unless at least six member or such grater number of members as parliament may prescribe, take part in the voting.

(3) The reference to all the members of the House in sections 17(7), 18(2) and 41 (2), (3), (4) and (5) of this Constitution shall not include the Speaker if he was elected from among persons who were not members of the House.

(4) The President or other Senator presiding in the Senate and a Speaker who was elected from among the members of the House or other member presiding n the House shall not vote unless on any question the votes are equally divided, in which case he shall have and exercise a casting vote;

Provided that in the case of the question of the final reading of such a bill as is referred to in subsection (2) or (3) of section 41 of this Constitution or the question of a motion for such a resolution as is referred to in subsection (4) or (5) of that section a Speaker who was so elected or other member presiding in the House shall have an original vote but no casting vote.

(5) A Speaker who was elected from among persons who were not members of the House shall have neither an original nor a casting vote.

(6) If, upon any question before the House the votes of the members are equally divided and no casting vote may be exercised, the motion shall be lost.

46.- Penalty for sitting if unqualified

(1) Any person who sits or votes in the Senate or the House knowing or having reasonable grounds for knowing that he is not entitled to do so shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or such other sum as may be prescribed by Parliament, for each day on which he so sits or votes.

(2) Any prosecution for an offence under this section shall be instituted except by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

47. – Mode of exercise of legislative power

(1) The power of Parliament to make laws shall be exercised by bills passed b the Senate and the House (or in the cases mentioned in section 49 and 50 of this Constitution by the House) and assented to by the Governor-General.

(2) When a bill is submitted to the Governor-General for assent in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution he shall signify that he assents.

(3) When the Governor-General assents to a bill that has been submitted to him in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution the bill shall become law and the Governor-General shall thereupon cause it to be published in the Official Gazette a law.

(4) No law made by Parliament shall come into operation until it has been published in the Official Gazette but Parliament may postpone the coming into operation of any such law and may make laws with retrospective effect.

48.- Restrictions with regard to certain financial measures

(1) A bill other than a money bill may be introduced in the Senate or the House; a money bill shall not be introduced in the Senate.

(2) Except on the recommendation of the Governor-General signified by a Minister, neither the Senate nor the House shall-

a) proceed upon any bill (including any amendment to a bill) that, in the opinion of the person presiding, makes provision for any of the following purposes:-

i) for the imposition of taxation of the alteration of taxation otherwise than by reduction;

ii) for the imposition of any charge upon the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund of Saint Lucia or the alteration of any such charge otherwise than by reduction;

iii) for the payment, issue or withdrawal form the Consolidated Fund or any public fund of Saint Lucia of any monies not charged thereon or any increase in the amount of such payment, issue or withdrawal; or

iv) for the composition or remission of any debt due to the Crown; or

b) procedure upon any motion (including any amendment to a motion) the effect of which, in the opinion of the person presiding, would be to make provisions for nay of those purposes.

49. – Restrictions on powers of Senate as to money bills

(1) If a money bill, having been passed by the House and sent to the Senate at least one month before the end of the session, is not passed by the Senate without amendment within one month after it is sent to the Senate, the bill shall, unless the House otherwise resolves, be presented to the Governor-General for his assent notwithstanding that the Senate has not consented to the bill.

(2) There shall be endorsed on every money bill when it is sent to the Senate the certificate of the Speaker signed by him that it is a money bill; and there shall be endorsed on any money bill that is submitted to the Governor-General for assent in pursuance of subsection (1) of this section the certificate of the Speaker signed by him that it is a money bill and the provisions of that subsection have been complied with.

50. – Restrictions on powers of Senate as to bills other than money bills

(1) This section applies to any bill other tan a money bill that is passed by the House in two successive sessions (whether of not Parliament is dissolved between those sessions) and, having been sent to the Senate in each of those sessions at least one month before the end of the session, is rejected by the Senate in each of those sessions.

(2) A bill to which this section applies shall, on its rejection for the second time by the Senate, unless the House otherwise resolves, be submitted to the Governor-General for assent notwithstanding that the Senate has not consented to the bill:

Provided that-

a) the foregoing provisions of this subsection shall not have effect unless at least six months have elapse between the date on which the bill is passed by the House in the first session and the date on which it is passed by the House in the second session;

b) a bill such as is referred to in subsection 82) or (3) of section 41 of this Constitution shall not be submitted to the Governor-General for his assent unless the provisions of that subsection have been complied with and the power conferred on the House by this subsection to resolve that a bill shall not be exercised in respect of such a bill.

(3) For the purposes of his section a bill that is sent to the Senate from the House in any session shall be deemed to be the same bill as a former bill sent to the Senate in the preceding session if, when it is sent to the Senate, it is identical with the former bill or contains only such alterations as are certified by the Speaker to be necessary owing to the time that has elapse since the date of the former bill or to represent any amendments which have been made by the Senate in the former bill in the preceding session.

(4) The house may, if it thinks fit, on the passage through the House of a bill tat is deemed to be the same bill as a former bill sent to the Senate in the preceding session, suggest any amendments without inserting the amendments in the bill, and any such amendments shall be considered by the Senate, and if agreed to by the Senate, shall be treated as amendments made by the Senate, and if agreed to by the Senate, shall be treated as amendments made by the Senate and agreed to by the House; but the exercise of this power by the House shall not affect the operation of this section in the event of the rejection of the bill in the Senate.

(5) There shall be inserted in any bill that is submitted to the Governor-General for assent in pursuance of this section any amendments that are certified by the Speaker to have been made in the bill by the Senate in the second session and agreed to by the House.

(6) There shall be endorsed on any bill that is presented to the Governor-General for assent in pursuance of this section the certificate of the Speaker signed by him that the provisions of this section have been complied with.

51. – Provisions relating to ss. 48, 49 and 50

(1) In section 48, 49 and 50 of this Constitution, “money bill” means a public bill which, in the opinion of the Speaker, contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the following matters, namely the imposition, repeal, remission, alteration or regulation of taxation; the imposition, for the payment of debt or other financial purposes, of charges on public money, or the variation or repeal of any such charges; the grant of money to the Crown or to any authority or person, or the variation or revocation of any such grant; the appropriation, receipt, custody, investment, issue or audit of accounts of public money; the raising or guarantee of any loan or there payment thereof, or the establishment, alteration, administration or abolition of any sinking fund provided in connection with any such loan; or subordinate matters incidental to any of the matters aforesaid; and in this subsection the expressions “taxation”, “debt”, “public money” and “loan” do not include any taxation imposed, debt incurred or money provided or loan raised by any local authority or body for local purposes.

(2) For the purposes of section 50 of this Constitution, a bill shall be deemed to be rejected by the Senate if-

a) it is not passed by the Senate without amendment; or

b) it is passed by the Senate with any amendment which is not agreed to by the House.

(3) In this section and section 49 and 50 of this Constitution references to the Speaker shall, if the person holding the office of Speaker is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office and no other person is performing them, include references to the Deputy Speaker.

(4) Any certificate of the Speaker given under section 49 or 50 of this Constitution shall be conclusive for all purposes and shall not be questioned in any court of law.

(5) Before giving any certificate under section 49 or 50 of this Constitution the Speaker shall consult the Attorney-General.

52. – Scrutiny of electoral legislation

Every proposed bill and every proposed regulation or other instrument having the force of law relating to the registration of voters for the purpose of electing members of the House or to the election of members of the House shall be referred to the Electoral Commission and to the Chief Elections Officer at such time as shall give them sufficient opportunity to make comments thereon before the bill is introduced in the Senate or the House or, as the case may be, the regulation or other instrument is made.

53.- Regulation of procedure

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Senate and the House may each regulate its own procedure and may in particular make rules for the orderly conduct of its own proceedings.

(2) The Senate or the House may act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership (including any vacancy not filled when it first meets after any general election) and the presence or participation of any person not entitled to be present at or to participate in its proceedings shall not invalidate those proceedings.