Report of the Duffus Commission of Inquiry into the Breakdown of Law & Order, and Police Brutality in Grenada

Introduction

Paragraphs 3 thru 5 - Setting-up of the Commission of Enquiry and related matters

3. Consequent upon representations made by counsel to the Commissioners objecting to the terms of reference, the Commissioners communicated with Her Excellency the Governor and the Governor, acting in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet, on the 20th day of December, amended the terms of reference as follows:

".....to make diligent inquiries into the matters set out hereunder:

1 A. 'Whether or not any incidents occurred during the period January 1, 1973 to November 30, 1973 from which a finding can be made by the Commission as to whether or not there has been any breakdown of law and order in the State and whether or not there has been any infringement of constitutional rights, with particular reference to the operation of the Police Force and 'Police Aides,' and the Magistracy, during the aforesaid period.'

1 B, 2, 3, and 4 - The same as 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the preceding Instrument, dated 6th December, 1973.

Item (5) as to the making of specific recommendations was deleted and in place thereof the following was added;-

"And to report and make recommendations thereon."

4. It will be appreciated therefore that the enlarged terms of reference increased considerably the range of the Enquiry, not only as to the period of time but as to the matters to be enquired into, with particular reference to the operations of the "Police Aides" who had not been included in the original terms of reference. As the evidence subsequently disclosed there was every justification for the request for the enlargement of the terms of reference, as otherwise if the terms of reference had stood as originally drawn many instances of illegal acts perpetrated by the "Police Aides" would not and could not have been enquired into by the Commissioners.

5. The Commissioners commenced taking evidence on the 17th of December, 1973, and adjourned on the 21st of December for the Christmas holidays. Public sitting were resumed on the 3rd of January, 1974, and continued until the 9th of January when the further hearings were adjourned for a date to be fixed. Up to this stage some 31 witnesses had been examined and the Commissioners desired to resume the hearings after a break of one week but this was not convenient to the Government on account of Grenada's pending independence on the 7th of February. Events of a tragic nature in the affairs of the Island intervened and prevented the resumption of the sittings of the Commission until the 22nd day of April on which date the Commissioners were able to resume. The Commissioners wish to state quite clearly that they were willing and anxious to resume the hearing immediately after the 7th of February but were unable to do so as the Government was not able to make the necessary arrangements. As soon as the Secretary of the Commission was able to make arrangements the Commissioners, at considerable persona inconvenience to themselves, returned to Grenada and sat from day to day until all the evidence had been taken. The last witness, the Honourable Eric Matthew Gairy, Prime Minister concluded his evidence close on to midnight of the 16th of May, 1974.

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