Mary Francis calls for ‘common sense’ at Registry

Mary Francis, the outspoken local Attorney at Law and Human Rights Activist, has called for employees of the Civil Status Registry to apply “a little common sense” in the exercise of their duties.

Francis told the Times that if that happens and the letter of the law is not adhered to, it would bring relief to citizens.

Francis asserted that there were some situations at the registry that have had “ridiculous outcomes.”

“People are being denied their documents on time,” she observed.

The Attorney at Law called on the authorities to take a fresh look at the civil status laws, to allow for some form of discretion in certain exceptional circumstances.

She cited a case, which she said was one of several, in which  a Saint Lucian citizen who was born in the UK is being frustrated in an attempt to renew his passport.

Francis recalled that in 2011 citizens took to the streets to protest hardships in obtaining birth certificates and other records.

“As a result of the protests and the grumblings attention was paid and they were able to allow them to have sufficient office space and staff, with a new civil status act,” the Human Rights Activist observed.

However she lamented that six years after the citizens demonstrated and the “so called changes “, people still face hardships to obtain documents in a timely fashion.

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