The Grenada Revolution Online

Draft Praedial Larceny Law


DRAFT-FOR PUBLIC DISCUSSION

People's Law Number    of 198    

P R O C L A M A T I O N

BY THE

PEOPLE'S REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT

A LAW to replace the Praedial Larceny Ordinance (Cap. 228) and to make provision for more expeditious remedies for praedial larceny.

[                           ]

In the exercise of the powers vested in the People's Revolutionary Government by People's Law No. 2 (Establishment of People's Revolutionary government) and in exercise of the powers vested in the Prime Minister by People's Law No. 10 (Declaration and Effect of Laws) it is hereby ORDERED and PROCLAIMED as follows:-

1. This Law may be cited as the

PRAEDIAL LARCENY LAW 198 .

2. In this Law

"area panel" means the persons appointed by the Minister in an area declared to be a Special Agricultural Area under section 8(1) to be eligible to serve on a Tribunal constituted as provided for in section 9:

"praedial larceny" means the stealing of any plant, root, fruit, vegetable or other growing edible or industrially useable or commercially saleable crop, article or thing or any animal or bird kept or reared or customarily used for food or for the provision of leather, wool, hair, feathers, down, dye, medicine medicinal ingredient or other agricultural commercial or industrial purpose:

"Minister" means the Minister of Government responsible for agriculture:

"President" means the President (or Vice President where one has been appointed) of an Area Panel and such persons who are members of his Area Panel as such President or Vice President shall appoint to assist him in hearing evidence concerning and investigating a charge or charges against and determining the guilt or innocence of a person or persons charged in a Special Agricultural Area with an offence under section 3 of this Law.

3.-(1) Whosoever commits praedial larceny shall be guilty of an offence against this Law and shall upon summary conviction before a Magistrate or upon being found guilty by a Tribunal be sentenced by the Magistrate for the District in which the offence occurred either to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding twenty-four months or to pay a fine not exceeding $1.000.00 or to both such imprisonment and fine.

      (2) Whosoever with intent to commit praedial larceny destroys or damages any article, thing or animal capable of being an object of praedial larceny or any tree, shrub, vine, bush or plant inherently capable of producing any such article or thing or any land, orchard, nursery, not-house, green house or conservatory upon or in which is growing or which has been prepared or is in use or customarily used for growing any such article or thing in or is used or customarily used for keeping or rearing any animal or bird capable of being an object of praedial larceny or any building shed or structure or any wall or fence on any such land shall be guilty of an offence against this Law and shall upon summary conviction before a Magistrate or being found guilty by a Tribunal be sentenced by the Magistrate for the District in which the offence occurred either to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding twenty-four months or to pay a fine not exceeding $1.000.00 or to both such imprisonment and fine.

      (3) Whosoever maliciously roots up, destroys, damages or injures any article, thing or animal or bird capable of being an object of praedial larceny or of bearing or producing such an article thing or animal or bird shall be guilty of an offence against this Law and shall upon summary conviction before a Magistrate or upon being found guilty by a Tribunal be sentenced by the Magistrate for the District in which the offence occurred to pay a fine not exceeding $1,000.00 or be imprisoned with or without, hard labour for a term not exceeding twenty-four months.

4. Where a person who has been found guilty under the preceding sections is a juvenile offender within the meaning of section 74 of the Criminal Code, or any amendment thereof any sum adjudged to be paid as compensation and costs of the prosecution may, if the Magistrate so order be paid by and recovered from the parent or guardian of such juvenile offender by distress or imprisonment in like manner as if the order had been made on conviction of the parent or guardian for the offence with which the child or young person was charged.

5. Whosoever receives any article, thing or animal or bird capable of being an object of praedial larceny whether after processing or treatment and whether in an adulterated or unadulterated form and whether or not mixed with other ingredients, articles or things knowing the same to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained shall be guilty of an offence against this Law and shall be liable on summary conviction before a Magistrate to the same punishments as prescribed for an offence under section 3 of this Law.

6. Whosoever upon being tried for an offence under sections 3 or 5 of this Law shall be found to have obtained any article, thing or animal the subject of such a charge by fraud or false pretences under circumstances which do not constitute stealing or an offence under section 5 such persons may nevertheless be found guilty of the offence of obtaining such articles, thing or animal by false pretences with intent to defraud and if so found shall be punished as if he had been convicted of an offence under section 5.

7. The burden of proof that he is in lawful ownership or possession of any article or articles, thing or things other than animals but including birds which is or are capable of being an object or object of praedial larceny of a market value exceeding twenty-five dollars ($25.00) in respect where of he does not produce on demand to the President or any other member of the Tribunal appointed under section 8 of this Law or a Magistrate, Justice of the Peace or Police Officer a valid receipt or receipt from any person or persons from whom he bought the said article or article, thing or things shall be on the person claiming ownership or found in possession and should he fail to discharge such burden of proof he shall be deemed to have received such article or articles, thing or things knowing them to have been stolen and shall be punished accordingly.

8. (1) The Minister may by Order published in the Gazette declare an area the boundaries of which he shall define in the Order to be a Special Agricultural Area.

      (2) For each area declared to be a Special Agricultural Area the Minister shall by notice published in the Gazette appoint a panel of persons eligible to serve on a Tribunal and not exceeding nine in number including the President and any Vice President and shall appoint a President of such panel and may at his discretion appoint a Vice President and the Minister may from time to time by notice published in the Gazette terminate the appointment of any President, Vice President or member of an Area Panel and make such new appointments as he shall consider necessary.

      (3) The Minister shall appoint for each such area a convener whose duty it shall be to act as clerk to any Tribunal constituted to hear and investigate charges under this law.9. In a Special Agricultural Area charges against persons charged with an offence under section 3 of this Law shall be heard and investigated and the guilt or innocence of the person or persons charged but not the sentence shall be determined by a Tribunal consisting of the President or Vice President (where a Vice President has been appointed and the President so decides) and not less than two members of the Area Panel appointed by the President to assist him or assist the Vice President as the case may be.

10. Informations in respect of offences against this Law shall be laid in the Magistrate's Court in the manner prescribed or customary for the laying of informations for other offences but upon an Information being laid in respect of an offence committed in a Special Agricultural Area under section 3 of this Law a copy of the said Information shall forthwith be sent to the President of the Area Panel.

11. Within seven days of receiving the copy of such Information the President or in his absence or upon the President's directions the Vice President shall -

      (1) appoint not less than two members of his Area Panel to be members with him or the Vice President as the case may be of and together with him or the Vice President constitute a Tribunal to hear evidence concerning and investigate the charge disclosed in the Information and determine the guilty or innocence of the person or persons charged;

      (2) fix a time and place for a session of the Tribunal for the hearing of evidence;

      (3) apply to the Clerk or other person performing the duties of clerk of the Magistrate's Court for a summons or summonses to be issued out of the Magistrate's Courts Office for the District in which the offence is alleged to have been committed requiring the person or persons charged to attend the session of the Tribunal referred to in sub-section (2) of this section and cause the said summons or summonses to be served don the person or persons charged.

12. (1) A summons under section 11(3) of this section may be served upon the person summonsed by being delivered to him or left at his last known place of abode not less than two clear days before the date fixed for the session of the Tribunal for the hearing of evidence.

      (2) In the event of the person served with a summons issued under this section failing to attend at the time and place stated in the summons then upon the President (or Vice President as the case may be) being satisfied that the provisions as to service have been complied with the Tribunal may proceed with the hearing of evidence and investigations and may determine the guilt or innocence of the person or persons charged his or their absence notwithstanding or may adjourn the hearing of evidence to another time and place.

      (3) In the event of the hearing of evidence being adjourned in the absence of the person or persons accused the President may fix a new time and place for a session to hear evidence and apply to the Magistrate of the District for a warrant for such persons arrest and upon such an application the Magistrate may issue a warrant or warrants for the arrest of such person or persons and upon such person or persons being brought before him may either grant bail and bind such person or persons in his or their own recognizance or with sureties to attend the said session of the Tribunal or order that such person be kept in custody until that time and be delivered to the place fixed for the said session by an officer of the Magistrate's Court or a Police Officer.

      (4) The President or Vice President as the case may be may at any session of a Tribunal adjourn the said session to be continued at a subsequent date and time and at such place as he shall decide and should the person or person charged be present shall inform him or them of the place, date and time of such adjourned session and a person so informed shall be deemed to have been summonsed to attend such adjourned session as if he had been served under subsection (1) of this section and the provisions of subsection (2) shall apply accordingly to the adjourned session.

13. A Tribunal shall before deciding on the guilt or innocence of a person or person charged -

      (1) hear such evidence as the following persons may wish to give:

                (a) the person laying the information:

                (b) any other person wishing to give evidence:

                (c) the accused person or persons.

      (2) in the event of the Tribunal considering it necessary or adviseable in their discussions so to do

                (a) inspect any land or premises at which it is alleged that the person or persons charged farm or raise livestock or birds or reside or carry on business or premises at which such person or persons are alleged to be frequently in attendance;

                (b) inspect the place at which the offence or offences is or are alleged to have been committed.

      (3) examine such records and written or documentary evidence as they consider relevant.

      (4) make such oral enquiries as they shall in their discretion consider may be helpful to their investigations.

14. (1) Having completed their hearings and investigations a Tribunal shall decide whether they are in possession of sufficient knowledge to enable them to make a decision on the guilt or innocence of the person or persons charged.

      (2) If the decision of the Tribunal under subsection (1) of this section is in the affirmative they shall decide whether or not the person or persons charged is or are guilty or innocent.

      (3) If the decision of the Tribunal under subsection (2) of this section is that any person charged is innocent the President shall discharge such person and if the decision is that any person charged is guilty such person or persons shall forthwith be taken into the custody of the Police until such time within a period not exceeding five days as he or they can be conveniently brought before the Magistrate for the District in which the offence or offences was or were committed either in chambers or in open court to be sentenced accordingly.

      (4) The President of the Tribunal which has decided that a person or persons charged is or are guilty shall within three days of such decision deliver to the Magistrate for the District a statement in writing of the facts of the case and the President or another member of the Tribunal appointed by the President shall be present when the Magistrate is sentencing the person or persons charged and answer any questions to which the Magistrate may require an answer relating to the person or persons charged and the offence committed and the Magistrate shall take such statement and answers into account when determining the sentence.

      (5) If the decision of the Tribunal under subsection (1) of this section is in the negative the President shall within three days of such decision make a statement in writing to the Magistrate and the Magistrate may at his discretion order that there shall be a new summary trial before a Magistrate of all or any of the persons who were charged or that such persons or any of them shall be discharged.

15. (1) When any person has been summarily convicted by a Magistrate or found guilty by a Tribunal the Magistrate before whom such person was convicted or sentenced may order him to be placed under special police supervision for a period not exceeding one year.

      (2) A person ordered in accordance with the provisions of this section to be placed under special police supervision shall, during the period specified in such order comply with the following provisions -

                (a) he shall forthwith upon the commencement of such period notify the officer in charge of the police station nearest to his residence of the house or place in which he resides;

                (b) he shall, when called upon so to do by the officer in charge of the police station nearest to his residence, present himself at such police station;

                (c) he shall not transfer his residence without the written authority of the officer in charge of such police station;

                (d) he shall remain within the doors of his residence from sunset until sunrise during each night unless excused in writing from so doing on any particular occasion by the officer in charge of such police station.

      (3) Where such person is authorised in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of this section to transfer his residence he shall notify the officer in charge of the police station nearest the place in which he will reside of the house or place in which he will reside.

      (4) A person ordered in accordance with the provisions of this section to be placed under special police supervision may be visited at his residence by a police officer or officers from time to time during the period specified in such order.

      (5) Any person subject to the restrictions specified in this section who fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an offence and on summary conviction thereof shall be liable to a fine not exceeding $1200.00 and in default of payment to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding twelve months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

16. The Praedial Larceny Ordinance (Cap. 228 of the Revised Laws of Grenada) is repealed.

Dated this      day of                           198   .


Appreciation for the listing of these revolutionary laws, and additional interpretation of some of the laws, goes to the detailed reporting of Alister Hughes in various issues of the "Caribbean Monthly Bulletin"; to the Latin American Specialist Librarian Richard Phillips of Smathers Library of the University of Florida, Gainesville; to the Interlibrary Loan Specialists of the Pack Library of Asheville, North Carolina; the U.S. National Archives II, to the Grenada Government Information Service for linking some of its damaged bound versions of the People's Laws to the used book market; to Florida State University Law Library, Tallahassee, Florida, and to other writers on Grenada attributed in the text.

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