A meeting of the select committee on constitutional review in the Falkland Islands was held in the court and council chambers yesterday evening and was open for public attendance. Councillors' Sharon Halford, Lewis Clifton and Jan Cheek were present and the meeting was chaired by Mike Summers. Approximately fifteen members of the public attended but were not able to participate in the proceedings. There appeared to be no members of the public present under the age of forty. During the course of the meeting presentations were given by the Attorney General and the Chief Executive. The Secretary General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Mr Arthur Donahoe also said a few words. The appointment of an ombudsman was discussed, as was the possibility of setting up a public service commission and how well the government currently operates within the constitution as it is set out. Mr Donahoe revealed that during his visit to the Falklands he has been able to meet and discuss various issues pertaining to this with people. He said with regard to how to apply the principles he has no magic formula to propose and informed the meeting that he has been asked to prepare a brief report on the matter upon returning to the United Kingdom.
Small Fine for Small Spillage.A spillage of around 20 litres of marine gas oil into Stanley Harbour led to the prosecution of a Chilean fishing company in Stanley's Magistrate court yesterday. Barrister Kevin Kilmartin represented the company Pesca Chile SAA that faced two charges. The first relating to a quantity of oil being allowed to escape or being discharged from the vessel MFV Betanzos, and the second charge relating to the failure of the master to report the incident immediately. The company pleaded guilty to both charges, which occurred on 1 December. In her summary of the facts, Roz Cheek for the Crown Prosecution told the court that there appears to be no explanation as to how the contamination was discharged and said, "it appears to have dispersed very quickly." Kevin Kilmartin in mitigation told the court that the spillage had happened overnight and the captain was in the process of investigating the cause the next morni