SVG lags behind in digital accessibility of laws
Our Readers' Opinions
June 18, 2024

SVG lags behind in digital accessibility of laws

Editor: From Belize, the Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, to Guyana, all independent anglophone Caribbean countries appear to have at least one online website where persons can easily access most or all of their laws.

Which country is missing from those named above? St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

While our neighbours appear to be taking more progressive and modern approaches in relation to the accessibility of their laws, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) remains an outlier.

While it is true, that if you search for certain laws, you may be able to find a digital copy online, the vast majority of SVG’s laws cannot be found with a simple internet search.

Moreover, while it may also be true that SVG’s laws can be found at the library or if one wants, they can purchase a physical copy, not everyone who wants to view the laws may be able to just get up and go to the library. For example, if someone has a physical disability or is outside the country, challenges may be encountered. Moreover, even if a physical copy of a specific law can be purchased, not everyone may have the financial resources at their disposal to do so.

Accessibility of SVG’s laws shouldn’t be reserved for just the physically fit or well-off.

We have to take into account persons with disabilities and those less physically fit, such as the elderly.

Like many of our independent anglophone neighbours, in the 21st century, I suggest SVG seek a more modern and progressive approach regarding accessibility of its laws.

We no longer live in a society that is totally dependent on written documents made of ink and paper. In this age of advanced technology, and with many technological tools at our disposal, citizens, residents, visitors, and foreigners alike should be able to easily access all of SVG’s laws in a digital format.

When our laws are more accessible many more persons would be able to elucidate themselves on what their and other people’s rights are in Vincentian society, thus creating a more informed Vincentian society and helping to promote the rule of law.

Let’s stop with the excuses and justifications. Let’s digitize SVG’s laws and make them more accessible to all.

Today, I encourage the State of SVG to digitize all of its laws and to place them on at least one online website or relevant online platform so that citizens, residents, visitors, and even foreigners, can have greater access to its laws.

Jeshua Bardoo