The Grenada Revolution Online

The People's Laws

It would seem apparent that the key to understanding the limitations and boundaries, or the allowances and permissions, of a society lies within the codification of its laws. As the Grenada Government [the People's Revolutionary Government (PRG)] was a revolutionary government, focus can be narrowed for learning about revolutionary society by studying the People's Laws of Grenada, enacted in 1979 [after March 13], 1980, 1981, 1982, and until October 1983.

All of the People's Law were signed by Maurice Bishop, Prime Minister, and printed in the Government Gazette; many were announced on Radio Free Grenada. The Governor General Sir Paul Scoon had no involvement with these laws. Scoon writes in his book "Survival for Service" that -

" . . . from March, 1979 to October, 1983 - the period of the Revolution - I as Governor General had absolutely nothing to do with the various laws that came into effect, and my signature therefore was not appended to any of the People's Laws."

Who wrote the People's Laws? Was it Bishop? Barristers? The Central Committee? Other governmental bodies? Scoon makes the observation that parts of the Grenada Constitution in effect before the Revolution were brought into the People's Laws after Constitutional Government had ceased by way of People's Law No. 1 of 1979 SUSPENSION OF THE CONSTITUTION as of March 28, 1979.

A reading of the Declaration of the Grenada Revolution of 25 March 1979 gives an impression of a transitional government. Note this section of the Declaration:

And whereas the People's Revolutionary Government pledges to return to constitutional rule at an early opportunity and to appoint a Consultative Assembly to consult with all the people for the purpose of the establishment of a new Constitution which will reflect the wishes and aspirations of all the people of Grenada. That new Constitution will be submitted for popular approval in a referendum. All sections, classes and strata will be involved.

Throughout the Revolutionary period there were plans for making a People's Constitution, but it never happened.

The listing of these laws on this site is a work in progress. These laws are listed numerically and by title or subject. The full text of some of the laws are not included on this site due to space limitations. Keep checking back for additions and changes. Interpretations or examples of how one or more of these laws was utilized in practice are welcome for consideration to be added to the understanding of these laws.

One law concerning praedial larceny exists in text form as a DRAFT - FOR PUBLIC DISCUSSION. The exact year in the 1980s and number of the law is missing; possible People's Law No. 198 of 1983. The web administrator for this site has not determined that this law was ever made "official". Praedial Larceny, which in general means stealing livestock or crops off someone else's land, has been a continuing challenge for Grenadian governments to this day. Follow this link Draft Praedial Larceny Law

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; to the U.S. National Archive II, to the Grenada Government Information Service for enabling some of its damaged bound versions of the People's Laws to be available for transfer to the used book market; to Florida State University Law Library, Tallahassee, Florida, and to other writers on Grenada attributed in the text.

People's Laws of 1979

People's Laws of 1980

People's Laws of 1981

People's Laws of 1982

People's Laws of 1983

Next: People's Laws 1979      Back: Bibliography

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