Constitution Order of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1979


Affirmative Action (Broadly)

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4),(5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, color or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such descriptions are not made subject or are recorded privileges of advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law do far as that law makes provision-

d. whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage that, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.
… (Sec. 13)

Citizenship and Nationality

(1) Every person who, having been born in Saint Vincent, is immediately before the commencement of this Constitution a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall become a citizen at such commencement.
(2) Every person who, immediately before the commencement of this Constitution, is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies
a. having become such a citizen under the British Nationality Act 1948 (a) by virtue of this having been naturalized in Saint Vincent as a British subject before that Act came into force; or
b. having while resident in Saint Vincent become such a citizen by virtue of his having been naturalized or registered under that Act, shall become a citizen at such commencement.
(3) Every person who, having been born outside Saint Vincent, is immediately before the commencement of this Constitution a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall, if his father or mother becomes, or would but for his death or the renunciation of his citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies have become,a citizen by virtue of subsection (1) or subsection (2) of this section, become a citizen at such commencement.
(4) Every woman who, having been married to a person who becomes, or but for his death or the renunciation of his citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies would have become, a citizen by virtue of subsection (1), (2) or (3) of this section, is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies immediately before the commencement of this Constitution shall become a citizen at such commencement. (Sec. 90)

Citizenship and Nationality

Every person born in Saint Vincent after the commencement of this Constitution shall become a citizen at the date of his birth: Provided that a person shall not become a citizen by virtue of this section if at the time of his birth-
a. neither of his parents is a citizen of Saint Vincent and his father or mother possesses such immunity from suit and legal process as is accorded to the envoy of a foreign sovereign power accredited to Saint Vincent; or
b. his father is a citizen of a country with which Saint Vincent is at war and the birth occurs in a place then under occupation by that country. (Sec. 91)

Citizenship and Nationality

A person born outside Saint Vincent after the commencement of this Constitution shall become a citizen at the date of his birth if, at that date, his father or mother is a citizen otherwise than by virtue of this section or section 90(3) of this Constitution. (Sec. 92)

Citizenship and Nationality

(1) The following persons shall be entitled, upon making application, to be registered as citizens--
a. any woman who is married to a citizen or who has been married to a person who, at any time during the period during which they were married to each other, was a citizen;

e. any woman who is married to any such person as is mentioned in paragraph (b), (c) or
d. of this subsection or who was married to a person who, at any time during the period during which they were married to each other, was entitled to be registered as a citizen under any such paragraph;
...
f. any woman who, before the commencement of this Constitution, has been married to a person--
i) who becomes a citizen by virtue of section 90 of this Constitution; or
ii) who, having died before such commencement, would but for his death have become a citizen by virtue of that section,
(2) The following persons shall be entitled, upon making application, to be registered as citizens—
a. any man who is married to a citizen or who has been married to a person who, at any time during the period during which they were married to each other, was a citizen;
b. any person who, being a Commonwealth citizen, is and for seven years previous to his application has been ordinarily resident in Saint Vincent;
c. any man who is married to any such person as is mentioned in paragraph (b), (c) or (d) of subsection (1) of this section or who was married to a person who, at any time during the period during which they were married to each other, was entitled to apply to be registered as a citizen under any such paragraph;
d. any person under the age of twenty-one years who is the stepchild or child adopted in a manner recognised by law of a citizen or is the child, stepchild or child so adopted of a person who is or would but for his death have been entitled to be registered as a citizen under subsection (1) of this section:
Provided that if it is so provided by Parliament an application for registration as a citizen under this subsection may, in such circumstances as may be prescribed by Parliament in the interests of defence, public safety or public order, be refused by the Minister responsible for the matter in any case in which he is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for refusing the application.
(3) An application under this section shall be made in such manner as may be prescribed, as respects that application, by or under a law enacted by Parliament and, in the case of a person to whom subsection (2) (d) of this section applies, it shall be made on his behalf by his parent or guardian:
Provided that, if any such person is or has been married, he may make the application himself.
… (Sec. 93)

Citizenship and Nationality

There shall be such provisions as may be made by Parliament for-
a. the acquisition of citizenship by persons who are not eligible or who are no longer eligible to become citizens under the provisions of this Chapter:
b. depriving of his citizenship any person who is a citizen otherwise than by virtue of section 90, 91 or 92 of this Constitution;
c. the renunciation by any person of his citizenship. (Sec. 94)

Citizenship and Nationality

(1) In this Chapter-

"father" in relation to a child born out of wedlock and not legitimated includes a person who acknowledges and can show that he is the father of the child.
… (Sec. 95)

Jurisdiction and Access

(1) Subject to the provisions of section 22(2), 38(8)(b), 102(2) and 105(10) of this Constitution, any person who alleges that any provisions of this Constitution (other than a provision of Chapter 1 thereof) has been or is being contravened may, if he has a relevant interest, apply to the High Court for a declaration and for relief under this section.
(2) The High Court shall have jurisdiction on an application made under this section to determine whether any provision of this Constitution (other than a provision of Chapter 1 thereof) has been or is being contravened and to make a declaration accordingly.
(3) Where the High Court makes a declaration under this section that a provision of this Constitution has been or is being contravened and the person on whose application the declaration is made has also applied for relief, the High Court may grant to that person such remedy as it considers appropriate, being a remedy available generally under any law in proceedings in the High Court.
(4) The Chief Justice may make rules with respect to the practice and procedure of the High Court in relation to the jurisdiction and powers conferred on the Court by or under this section, including provisions with respect to the time within which any application under this section may be made.
(5) A person shall be regarded as having a relevant interest for the purpose of an application under this section only if the contravention of this Constitution alleged by him is such as to affect his interests.
(6) The rights conferred on a person by this section to apply for a declaration and relief in respect of an alleged contravention of this Constitution shall be in addition to any other action in respect of the same matter that may be available to that person under any law.
(7) Nothing in this section shall confer jurisdiction on the High Court to hear or determine any such question as is referred to in section 36 of this Constitution. (Sec. 96)

Jurisdiction and Access

(1) Where any question as to the interpretation of this Constitution arises in any court of law established for Saint Vincent (other than the Court of Appeal, the High Court or a court martial) and the court is of opinion that the question involves a substantial question of law, the court shall refer the question to the High Court.
… (Sec. 97)

Jurisdiction and Access

Subject to the provisions of section 36 of this Constitution, an appeal shall lie from decisions of the High Court to the Court of Appeal as of right in the following cases-
a. final decision in any civil or criminal proceedings on questions as to the interpretation of this Constitution;
b. final decisions given in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on the High Court by section 16 of this Constitution (which relates to the enforcement of the fundamental rights and freedoms); and
c. such other cases as may be prescribed by Parliament. (Sec. 98)

Jurisdiction and Access

(1) An appeal shall lie from decisions of the Court of Appeal to Her Majesty in Council as of right in the following cases-

c. final decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings which involve a question as to the interpretation of this Constitution;
… (Sec. 99)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

WHEREAS the Peoples of the Island of Saint Vincent, who are known as Vincentians-

b. desire that their society be so ordered as to express their recognition of the principles of democracy, free institutions, social justice and equality before the law;
… (Preamble)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

Where every person in Saint Vincent is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions,color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
… (Sec. 1)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4),(5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.
(2) Subject to the provisions of subsections (6),(7) and (8) of this section, no persons shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any persons acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, color or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such descriptions are not made subject or are recorded privileges of advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law do far as that law makes provision-

c. for the application, in the case of persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section (or of persons connected with such persons), of the law with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other like matters that is the personal law of persons of that description;
d. whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage that, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.
(5) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) of this section to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being standards or qualifications specifically relating to sex, race, place or origin, political opinions, color or creed) to be required of any person who is appointed to or to act in any office or employment.
(6) Subsection (2) of this section shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorized to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in subsection (4) or subsection (5) of this section.
(7) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by sections 7,9,10,11 add 12 if this Constitution, being such a restriction as is authorized by section 7(2), section 9(5)m section 10(2)m section 11(2) or paragraph (a), (b) or (h) of section 12(3), as the case may be.
(8) Nothing in subsection (2) of this section shall affect any discretion relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person by or under this Constitution or any other law. (Sec. 13)

Obligations of the State

Where every person in Saint Vincent is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions,color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expressions and of assembly and association: and
c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
the provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of other or the public interest. (Sec. 1)

Obligations of Private Parties

Where every person in Saint Vincent is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expressions and of assembly and association: and
c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
the provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of other or the public interest. (Sec. 1)

Judicial Protection

(1) If any person allege that any of the provisions of sections 2 to 15 inclusive of this Constitution has been, is being or is likely to be contravened in relation to him (or, in the case of a person who is detained, if any other person alleges such a contravention in relation to the detained person), then, without prejudice to any other actin with respect to the same matter that is lawfully available, that person (or that other person) may apply to the High Court for redress.
(2) The High Court shall have original jurisdiction-
a. to hear and determine any application made by any person in pursuance of subsection (1) of this section, and
b. to determine any question arising in the case of any person which is referred to it in pursuance of subsection (3) of this section, and may make such declarations and orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of sections 2 to 15 (inclusive) of this Constitution:
Provided that the High Court may decline to exercise its powers under this subsection if it is satisfied that adequate means of redress for the contravention alleged are or have been available to the person concerned under any other law.
(3) If in any proceeding in any court (other than the Court of Appeal or the High Court or a court-martial) any question arises as to the contravention of any of the provisions of sections 2 to 15 (inclusive) of this Constitution, the person presiding in that court may, and shall if any party to the proceedings so request, refer the question to the High Court unless, in his opinion, the raising of the question is merely frivolous or vexatious.
(4) Where any question is referred to the High Court in pursuance of subsection (3) of this section, the High Court shall gibe its decision upon the question and the court in which the question arose shall dispose of the case in accordance with that decision or, if that decision is the subject of an appeal to the Court of Appeal or to Her Majesty in Council, in accordance with the decision of the Court of Appeal or,as the case may be, of Her Majesty in Council.
(5) The High Court shall have such powers in addition to those conferred by this section as may be conferred upon it by Parliament for the purpose of enabling or more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon it by this section.
(6) The Chief Justice may make rules with respect to the practice and procedure of the High Court in relation to the jurisdiction and power conferred on it by or under this section (including rules with respect to the time within which applications may be brought and references shall be made to the High Court). (Sec. 16)

Judicial Protection

Subject to the provisions of section 36 of this Constitution, an appeal shall lie from decisions of the High Court to the Court of Appeal as of right in the following cases-

b. final decisions given in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on the High Court by section 16 of this Constitution (which relates to the enforcement of the fundamental rights and freedoms);
… (Sec. 98)

Limitations and/or Derogations

Where every person in Saint Vincent is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions,color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expressions and of assembly and association: and
c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
the provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of other or the public interest. (Sec. 1)

Limitations and/or Derogations

Nothing contained in or done under the authority of a law enacted by Parliament shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of section 3 or section 13 of this Constitution to the extent that the law authorises the taking during any period of public emergency of measures that are reasonably justifiable for dealing with the situation that exists in Saint Vincent during that period. (Sec. 14)

Marriage and Family Life

WHEREAS the Peoples of the Island of Saint Vincent, who are known as Vincentians-

c. realize that the maintenance of human dignity presupposes safeguarding the rights of privacy of family life, of property and the fostering of the pursuit of just economic rewards for labor;
… (Preamble)

Marriage and Family Life

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, color or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such descriptions are not made subject or are recorded privileges of advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law do far as that law makes provision-

c. for the application, in the case of persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section (or of persons connected with such persons), of the law with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other like matters that is the personal law of persons of that description;
… (Sec. 13)

Marriage and Family Life

(1) An appeal shall lie from decisions of the Court of Appeal to Her Majesty in Council as of right in the following cases –

b. final decisions in proceedings for dissolutions or nullity of marriage;
… (Sec. 99)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions,color or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such descriptions are not made subject or are recorded privileges of advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.

(5) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) of this section to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being standards or qualifications specifically relating to sex, race, place or origin, political opinions, color or creed) to be required of any person who is appointed to or to act in any office or employment.
… (Sec. 13)

Political Rights and Association

Where every person in Saint Vincent is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

b. freedom of conscience, of expressions and of assembly and association: … (Sec. 1)

Political Rights and Association

(1) Except with his own consent, a person shall not be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of assembly and association, that is to say, his right to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to trade unions or other associations for the protection of his interests.
… (Sec. 11)

Political Rights and Association

(2) a. Every Commonwealth citizen of the age of eighteen years or upwards who possesses such qualifications relating to residence or domicile in Saint Vincent as Parliament may prescribe shall, unless he is disqualified by Parliament from registration as a voter for the purpose of electing Representatives, be entitled to be registered as such a voter in accordance with the provisions of any law in that behalf, and no other person may be so registered.
b. Every person who is registered as aforesaid in any constituency shall, unless he is disqualified by Parliament from voting in that constituency in any election of Representatives, be entitled so to vote in accordance with the provisions of any law in that behalf, and no other person may so vote.
… (Sec. 27)

Electoral Bodies

(1) There shall be a Supervisor of Elections whose duty it shall be to exercise general supervision over the registration of voters in elections of Representatives and over the conduct of such elections.
… (Sec. 34)

Head of State

There shall be a Governor-General of Saint Vincent who shall be appointed by Her Majesty and shall hold office during Her Majesty's pleasure and who shall be Her Majesty's representative in Saint Vincent. (Sec. 19)

Government

(1) There shall be a Prime Minister of Saint Vincent who shall be appointed by the Governor-General.
(2) Whenever the Governor-General has occasion to appoint a Prime Minister he shall appoint a Representative who appears to him likely to command the support of the majority of the Representatives.
(3) There shall be, in addition to the office of Prime Minister, such officers of Minister of the Government as may be established by Parliament or, subject to the provisions of any law enacted by Parliament, by the Governor-General, casting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.
(4) Appointments to the office of Minister, other than the office of Prime Minister, shall be made by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, from among the members of the House:
Provided that not more than two Ministers shall be appointed from among the Senators.
… (Sec. 51)

Government

(1) There shall be a Cabinet of Ministers for Saint Vincent which shall consist of the Prime Minister and the other Ministers.
… (Sec. 52)

Legislature

There shall be a Parliament of Saint Vincent which shall consist of Her Majesty and a House of Assembly. (Sec. 23)

Legislature

(1) The House shall consist of-
a. such number of Representatives as corresponds with the number of constituencies for the time being established in accordance with the provisions of section 33 of this Constitution, who shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of section 27 of this Constitution; and
b. six Senators appointed in accordance with the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution.
… (Sec. 24)

Legislature

(1) Subject to the provisions of section 26 of this Constitution, a person shall be qualified to be elected as a representative if, and shall not be so qualified unless, he -
a. is a Commonwealth citizen of the age of twenty-one years or upwards
b. has resided in Saint Vincent for a period of twelve months immediately before the date of his nominations for election or is domiciled and resident in Saint Vincent at that date: and
c. is able to speak and, unless incapacitated by blindness or the physical cause, to read the English language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to enable him to take an active part in the proceedings of the House.
(2) Subject to the provisions of section 26 of this Constitution, a person shall be qualified to be elected or appointed as a Senator if, and shall not be so qualified unless, he is a Commonwealth citizen of the age of twenty-one years or upwards. (Sec. 25)

Legislature

(1) Each of the constituencies established in accordance with the provisions of section 33 of this Constitution shall return one representative to the House who shall be directly elected in such manner as may, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, be prescribed by or under any law.
… (Sec. 27)

Legislature

Of the Senators-
a. four shall be appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister; and
b. two shall be appointed by the Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition. (Sec. 28)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

WHEREAS the Peoples of the Island of Saint Vincent, who are known as Vincentians- ‘

c. realize that the maintenance of human dignity presupposes safeguarding the rights of privacy of family life, of property and the fostering of the pursuit of just economic rewards for labor;
… (Preamble)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

Where every person in Saint Vincent is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
… (Sec. 1)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4),(5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, color or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such descriptions are not made subject or are recorded privileges of advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law do far as that law makes provision –

c. for the application, in the case of persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section (or of persons connected with such persons), of the law with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other like matters that is the personal law of persons of that description;
… (Sec. 13)

Protection from Violence

Where every person in Saint Vincent is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
… (Sec. 1)

Protection from Violence

(1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
(2) No person shall be required to perform forced labour.
… (Sec. 4)

Protection from Violence

No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment. (Sec. 5)

Public Institutions and Services

(1) Where under any law any person or authority has a discretion-
a. to decide whether or not any pension benefits shall be granted; or
b. to withhold, reduce in amount or suspend any such benefits that have been granted, those benefits shall be granted and may not be withheld, reduced in amount or suspended unless the Public Service Commission concurs in the refusal to grant the benefits or, as the case may be, in the decisions to withhold them, reduce them in amount or suspend them.

(5) In this section "pensions benefits" means any pensions, compensation, gratuities or other like allowances for persons in respect of their service as judge or officer of the Supreme Court or public officers or for the widows, children, dependants or personal representatives of such persons in respect of such service. (Sec. 89)

Status of the Constitution

This Constitution is the supreme law of Saint Vincent and, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail and the other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void. (Sec. 101)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4),(5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, color or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such descriptions are not made subject or are recorded privileges of advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law do far as that law makes provision-

d. whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage that, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.
… (Sec. 13)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

(1) Every person who, having been born in Saint Vincent, is immediately before the commencement of this Constitution a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall become a citizen at such commencement.
(2) Every person who, immediately before the commencement of this Constitution, is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies
a. having become such a citizen under the British Nationality Act 1948 (a) by virtue of this having been naturalized in Saint Vincent as a British subject before that Act came into force; or
b. having while resident in Saint Vincent become such a citizen by virtue of his having been naturalized or registered under that Act, shall become a citizen at such commencement.
(3) Every person who, having been born outside Saint Vincent, is immediately before the commencement of this Constitution a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall, if his father or mother becomes, or would but for his death or the renunciation of his citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies have become,a citizen by virtue of subsection (1) or subsection (2) of this section, become a citizen at such commencement.
(4) Every woman who, having been married to a person who becomes, or but for his death or the renunciation of his citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies would have become, a citizen by virtue of subsection (1), (2) or (3) of this section, is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies immediately before the commencement of this Constitution shall become a citizen at such commencement. (Sec. 90)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

Every person born in Saint Vincent after the commencement of this Constitution shall become a citizen at the date of his birth: Provided that a person shall not become a citizen by virtue of this section if at the time of his birth-
a. neither of his parents is a citizen of Saint Vincent and his father or mother possesses such immunity from suit and legal process as is accorded to the envoy of a foreign sovereign power accredited to Saint Vincent; or
b. his father is a citizen of a country with which Saint Vincent is at war and the birth occurs in a place then under occupation by that country. (Sec. 91)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

A person born outside Saint Vincent after the commencement of this Constitution shall become a citizen at the date of his birth if, at that date, his father or mother is a citizen otherwise than by virtue of this section or section 90(3) of this Constitution. (Sec. 92)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

(1) The following persons shall be entitled, upon making application, to be registered as citizens--
a. any woman who is married to a citizen or who has been married to a person who, at any time during the period during which they were married to each other, was a citizen;

e. any woman who is married to any such person as is mentioned in paragraph (b), (c) or
d. of this subsection or who was married to a person who, at any time during the period during which they were married to each other, was entitled to be registered as a citizen under any such paragraph;
...
f. any woman who, before the commencement of this Constitution, has been married to a person--
i) who becomes a citizen by virtue of section 90 of this Constitution; or
ii) who, having died before such commencement, would but for his death have become a citizen by virtue of that section,
(2) The following persons shall be entitled, upon making application, to be registered as citizens—
a. any man who is married to a citizen or who has been married to a person who, at any time during the period during which they were married to each other, was a citizen;
b. any person who, being a Commonwealth citizen, is and for seven years previous to his application has been ordinarily resident in Saint Vincent;
c. any man who is married to any such person as is mentioned in paragraph (b), (c) or (d) of subsection (1) of this section or who was married to a person who, at any time during the period during which they were married to each other, was entitled to apply to be registered as a citizen under any such paragraph;
d. any person under the age of twenty-one years who is the stepchild or child adopted in a manner recognised by law of a citizen or is the child, stepchild or child so adopted of a person who is or would but for his death have been entitled to be registered as a citizen under subsection (1) of this section:
Provided that if it is so provided by Parliament an application for registration as a citizen under this subsection may, in such circumstances as may be prescribed by Parliament in the interests of defence, public safety or public order, be refused by the Minister responsible for the matter in any case in which he is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for refusing the application.
(3) An application under this section shall be made in such manner as may be prescribed, as respects that application, by or under a law enacted by Parliament and, in the case of a person to whom subsection (2) (d) of this section applies, it shall be made on his behalf by his parent or guardian:
Provided that, if any such person is or has been married, he may make the application himself.
… (Sec. 93)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

There shall be such provisions as may be made by Parliament for-
a. the acquisition of citizenship by persons who are not eligible or who are no longer eligible to become citizens under the provisions of this Chapter:
b. depriving of his citizenship any person who is a citizen otherwise than by virtue of section 90, 91 or 92 of this Constitution;
c. the renunciation by any person of his citizenship. (Sec. 94)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

(1) In this Chapter-

"father" in relation to a child born out of wedlock and not legitimated includes a person who acknowledges and can show that he is the father of the child.
… (Sec. 95)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of section 22(2), 38(8)(b), 102(2) and 105(10) of this Constitution, any person who alleges that any provisions of this Constitution (other than a provision of Chapter 1 thereof) has been or is being contravened may, if he has a relevant interest, apply to the High Court for a declaration and for relief under this section.
(2) The High Court shall have jurisdiction on an application made under this section to determine whether any provision of this Constitution (other than a provision of Chapter 1 thereof) has been or is being contravened and to make a declaration accordingly.
(3) Where the High Court makes a declaration under this section that a provision of this Constitution has been or is being contravened and the person on whose application the declaration is made has also applied for relief, the High Court may grant to that person such remedy as it considers appropriate, being a remedy available generally under any law in proceedings in the High Court.
(4) The Chief Justice may make rules with respect to the practice and procedure of the High Court in relation to the jurisdiction and powers conferred on the Court by or under this section, including provisions with respect to the time within which any application under this section may be made.
(5) A person shall be regarded as having a relevant interest for the purpose of an application under this section only if the contravention of this Constitution alleged by him is such as to affect his interests.
(6) The rights conferred on a person by this section to apply for a declaration and relief in respect of an alleged contravention of this Constitution shall be in addition to any other action in respect of the same matter that may be available to that person under any law.
(7) Nothing in this section shall confer jurisdiction on the High Court to hear or determine any such question as is referred to in section 36 of this Constitution. (Sec. 96)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(1) Where any question as to the interpretation of this Constitution arises in any court of law established for Saint Vincent (other than the Court of Appeal, the High Court or a court martial) and the court is of opinion that the question involves a substantial question of law, the court shall refer the question to the High Court.
… (Sec. 97)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

Subject to the provisions of section 36 of this Constitution, an appeal shall lie from decisions of the High Court to the Court of Appeal as of right in the following cases-
a. final decision in any civil or criminal proceedings on questions as to the interpretation of this Constitution;
b. final decisions given in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on the High Court by section 16 of this Constitution (which relates to the enforcement of the fundamental rights and freedoms); and
c. such other cases as may be prescribed by Parliament. (Sec. 98)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(1) An appeal shall lie from decisions of the Court of Appeal to Her Majesty in Council as of right in the following cases-

c. final decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings which involve a question as to the interpretation of this Constitution;
… (Sec. 99)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

WHEREAS the Peoples of the Island of Saint Vincent, who are known as Vincentians-

b. desire that their society be so ordered as to express their recognition of the principles of democracy, free institutions, social justice and equality before the law;
… (Preamble)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

Where every person in Saint Vincent is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions,color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
… (Sec. 1)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4),(5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.
(2) Subject to the provisions of subsections (6),(7) and (8) of this section, no persons shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any persons acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, color or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such descriptions are not made subject or are recorded privileges of advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law do far as that law makes provision-

c. for the application, in the case of persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section (or of persons connected with such persons), of the law with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other like matters that is the personal law of persons of that description;
d. whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage that, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.
(5) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) of this section to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being standards or qualifications specifically relating to sex, race, place or origin, political opinions, color or creed) to be required of any person who is appointed to or to act in any office or employment.
(6) Subsection (2) of this section shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorized to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in subsection (4) or subsection (5) of this section.
(7) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by sections 7,9,10,11 add 12 if this Constitution, being such a restriction as is authorized by section 7(2), section 9(5)m section 10(2)m section 11(2) or paragraph (a), (b) or (h) of section 12(3), as the case may be.
(8) Nothing in subsection (2) of this section shall affect any discretion relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person by or under this Constitution or any other law. (Sec. 13)

Obligations of the State

English

Where every person in Saint Vincent is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions,color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expressions and of assembly and association: and
c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
the provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of other or the public interest. (Sec. 1)

Obligations of Private Parties

English

Where every person in Saint Vincent is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expressions and of assembly and association: and
c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
the provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of other or the public interest. (Sec. 1)

Judicial Protection

English

(1) If any person allege that any of the provisions of sections 2 to 15 inclusive of this Constitution has been, is being or is likely to be contravened in relation to him (or, in the case of a person who is detained, if any other person alleges such a contravention in relation to the detained person), then, without prejudice to any other actin with respect to the same matter that is lawfully available, that person (or that other person) may apply to the High Court for redress.
(2) The High Court shall have original jurisdiction-
a. to hear and determine any application made by any person in pursuance of subsection (1) of this section, and
b. to determine any question arising in the case of any person which is referred to it in pursuance of subsection (3) of this section, and may make such declarations and orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of sections 2 to 15 (inclusive) of this Constitution:
Provided that the High Court may decline to exercise its powers under this subsection if it is satisfied that adequate means of redress for the contravention alleged are or have been available to the person concerned under any other law.
(3) If in any proceeding in any court (other than the Court of Appeal or the High Court or a court-martial) any question arises as to the contravention of any of the provisions of sections 2 to 15 (inclusive) of this Constitution, the person presiding in that court may, and shall if any party to the proceedings so request, refer the question to the High Court unless, in his opinion, the raising of the question is merely frivolous or vexatious.
(4) Where any question is referred to the High Court in pursuance of subsection (3) of this section, the High Court shall gibe its decision upon the question and the court in which the question arose shall dispose of the case in accordance with that decision or, if that decision is the subject of an appeal to the Court of Appeal or to Her Majesty in Council, in accordance with the decision of the Court of Appeal or,as the case may be, of Her Majesty in Council.
(5) The High Court shall have such powers in addition to those conferred by this section as may be conferred upon it by Parliament for the purpose of enabling or more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon it by this section.
(6) The Chief Justice may make rules with respect to the practice and procedure of the High Court in relation to the jurisdiction and power conferred on it by or under this section (including rules with respect to the time within which applications may be brought and references shall be made to the High Court). (Sec. 16)

Judicial Protection

English

Subject to the provisions of section 36 of this Constitution, an appeal shall lie from decisions of the High Court to the Court of Appeal as of right in the following cases-

b. final decisions given in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on the High Court by section 16 of this Constitution (which relates to the enforcement of the fundamental rights and freedoms);
… (Sec. 98)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

Where every person in Saint Vincent is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions,color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expressions and of assembly and association: and
c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
the provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of other or the public interest. (Sec. 1)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

Nothing contained in or done under the authority of a law enacted by Parliament shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of section 3 or section 13 of this Constitution to the extent that the law authorises the taking during any period of public emergency of measures that are reasonably justifiable for dealing with the situation that exists in Saint Vincent during that period. (Sec. 14)

Marriage and Family Life

English

WHEREAS the Peoples of the Island of Saint Vincent, who are known as Vincentians-

c. realize that the maintenance of human dignity presupposes safeguarding the rights of privacy of family life, of property and the fostering of the pursuit of just economic rewards for labor;
… (Preamble)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, color or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such descriptions are not made subject or are recorded privileges of advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law do far as that law makes provision-

c. for the application, in the case of persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section (or of persons connected with such persons), of the law with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other like matters that is the personal law of persons of that description;
… (Sec. 13)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(1) An appeal shall lie from decisions of the Court of Appeal to Her Majesty in Council as of right in the following cases –

b. final decisions in proceedings for dissolutions or nullity of marriage;
… (Sec. 99)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions,color or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such descriptions are not made subject or are recorded privileges of advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.

(5) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) of this section to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being standards or qualifications specifically relating to sex, race, place or origin, political opinions, color or creed) to be required of any person who is appointed to or to act in any office or employment.
… (Sec. 13)

Political Rights and Association

English

Where every person in Saint Vincent is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

b. freedom of conscience, of expressions and of assembly and association: … (Sec. 1)

Political Rights and Association

English

(1) Except with his own consent, a person shall not be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of assembly and association, that is to say, his right to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to trade unions or other associations for the protection of his interests.
… (Sec. 11)

Political Rights and Association

English

(2) a. Every Commonwealth citizen of the age of eighteen years or upwards who possesses such qualifications relating to residence or domicile in Saint Vincent as Parliament may prescribe shall, unless he is disqualified by Parliament from registration as a voter for the purpose of electing Representatives, be entitled to be registered as such a voter in accordance with the provisions of any law in that behalf, and no other person may be so registered.
b. Every person who is registered as aforesaid in any constituency shall, unless he is disqualified by Parliament from voting in that constituency in any election of Representatives, be entitled so to vote in accordance with the provisions of any law in that behalf, and no other person may so vote.
… (Sec. 27)

Electoral Bodies

English

(1) There shall be a Supervisor of Elections whose duty it shall be to exercise general supervision over the registration of voters in elections of Representatives and over the conduct of such elections.
… (Sec. 34)

Head of State

English

There shall be a Governor-General of Saint Vincent who shall be appointed by Her Majesty and shall hold office during Her Majesty's pleasure and who shall be Her Majesty's representative in Saint Vincent. (Sec. 19)

Government

English

(1) There shall be a Prime Minister of Saint Vincent who shall be appointed by the Governor-General.
(2) Whenever the Governor-General has occasion to appoint a Prime Minister he shall appoint a Representative who appears to him likely to command the support of the majority of the Representatives.
(3) There shall be, in addition to the office of Prime Minister, such officers of Minister of the Government as may be established by Parliament or, subject to the provisions of any law enacted by Parliament, by the Governor-General, casting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.
(4) Appointments to the office of Minister, other than the office of Prime Minister, shall be made by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, from among the members of the House:
Provided that not more than two Ministers shall be appointed from among the Senators.
… (Sec. 51)

Government

English

(1) There shall be a Cabinet of Ministers for Saint Vincent which shall consist of the Prime Minister and the other Ministers.
… (Sec. 52)

Legislature

English

There shall be a Parliament of Saint Vincent which shall consist of Her Majesty and a House of Assembly. (Sec. 23)

Legislature

English

(1) The House shall consist of-
a. such number of Representatives as corresponds with the number of constituencies for the time being established in accordance with the provisions of section 33 of this Constitution, who shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of section 27 of this Constitution; and
b. six Senators appointed in accordance with the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution.
… (Sec. 24)

Legislature

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of section 26 of this Constitution, a person shall be qualified to be elected as a representative if, and shall not be so qualified unless, he -
a. is a Commonwealth citizen of the age of twenty-one years or upwards
b. has resided in Saint Vincent for a period of twelve months immediately before the date of his nominations for election or is domiciled and resident in Saint Vincent at that date: and
c. is able to speak and, unless incapacitated by blindness or the physical cause, to read the English language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to enable him to take an active part in the proceedings of the House.
(2) Subject to the provisions of section 26 of this Constitution, a person shall be qualified to be elected or appointed as a Senator if, and shall not be so qualified unless, he is a Commonwealth citizen of the age of twenty-one years or upwards. (Sec. 25)

Legislature

English

(1) Each of the constituencies established in accordance with the provisions of section 33 of this Constitution shall return one representative to the House who shall be directly elected in such manner as may, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, be prescribed by or under any law.
… (Sec. 27)

Legislature

English

Of the Senators-
a. four shall be appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister; and
b. two shall be appointed by the Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition. (Sec. 28)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

WHEREAS the Peoples of the Island of Saint Vincent, who are known as Vincentians- ‘

c. realize that the maintenance of human dignity presupposes safeguarding the rights of privacy of family life, of property and the fostering of the pursuit of just economic rewards for labor;
… (Preamble)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

Where every person in Saint Vincent is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation,
… (Sec. 1)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4),(5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this section, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, color or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such descriptions are not made subject or are recorded privileges of advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(4) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law do far as that law makes provision –

c. for the application, in the case of persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section (or of persons connected with such persons), of the law with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other like matters that is the personal law of persons of that description;
… (Sec. 13)

Protection from Violence

English

Where every person in Saint Vincent is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
… (Sec. 1)

Protection from Violence

English

(1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
(2) No person shall be required to perform forced labour.
… (Sec. 4)

Protection from Violence

English

No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment. (Sec. 5)

Public Institutions and Services

English

(1) Where under any law any person or authority has a discretion-
a. to decide whether or not any pension benefits shall be granted; or
b. to withhold, reduce in amount or suspend any such benefits that have been granted, those benefits shall be granted and may not be withheld, reduced in amount or suspended unless the Public Service Commission concurs in the refusal to grant the benefits or, as the case may be, in the decisions to withhold them, reduce them in amount or suspend them.

(5) In this section "pensions benefits" means any pensions, compensation, gratuities or other like allowances for persons in respect of their service as judge or officer of the Supreme Court or public officers or for the widows, children, dependants or personal representatives of such persons in respect of such service. (Sec. 89)

Status of the Constitution

English

This Constitution is the supreme law of Saint Vincent and, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail and the other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void. (Sec. 101)

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