I share your concerns as expressed in your editorial in your newspaper’s issue of Thursday, 24 November, 2011. As a former Member of the Legislative Assembly, former minister and now a Justice of the Peace, I am concerned about what I see as a gradual erosion of civil rights.
Indeed I go as far as to label this attempt along with other legislation passed recently as the ‘criminalisation of the society’. Allowing these kinds of powers to persons under the guise of “reasonable cause” is not only patently fallacious, it is downright reckless. The courts serve as the proper place for such requests to be decided. To completely ignore this process is tantamount to setting up a police state.
Let me state clearly and emphatically, I am an advocate for law and order and cherish the safety and security of living in a law abiding society as much as any other rational, responsible and law abiding citizen. In the matter warrant –less searches however, there should be no hasty conclusion as one should take into consideration the obvious erosion of civil rights on the grounds of ‘reasonable cause’. I say, let our courts decide in, if indeed, there is ‘reasonable cause’. In conclusion, let me remind those who may need to be reminded that “to sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men”.