27 Oct 2009

Pitcairn constitution to be prepared before year's end

1:09 pm on 27 October 2009

It is hoped a new constitution for Pitcairn will be ready by this December.

The island community is now considering a new draft constitution which defines their human rights, the role of the Governor and sets up the post of Attorney-General.

Pitcairn's Governor George Ferguson, who is also the British High Commissioner in Wellington, says Britain is also prepared to consider having the document include social and economic rights.

He says the consultations, which may include a video link with lawyers in London, are now before a steering committee chosen by the islanders.

"We hope that the consultation period can come to an end by the end of November, and it would be possible for the legislation to made in December. But if issues come up which take longer to debate, it is more important that there is a degree of buy-in, and that people feel their ideas have been properly taken into account, than that we necessarily meet a timetable, but I hope we can meet that timetable."

George Ferguson, the governor of Pitcairn