Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nape takes swipe at AG

PARLIAMENT Speaker Jeffrey Nape has criticised Attorney-General Sir Arnold Amet for his outburst against Supreme Court rulings on the suspension of leaders facing misconduct charges under the Leadership Code, The National reports.

Nape said the Constitution provided for the judicial function to be separated from the legislative and executive functions of government.

“The Constitution provides for the judiciary to not only apply the law in determining issues between government and persons but by interpreting and applying the Constitution on such issues, thereby determine the lawfulness of the actions of the legislative and executive branches of government, it is, therefore, doubly important that the judiciary is completely independent from the other two-tier of government,” he said.

“A sad case in point being the outburst from the attorney-general over both the National and Supreme Court inconsistent rulings on the suspension of leaders who are faced with misconduct in office charges under the Leadership Code,” Nape said.

“The office of the attorney-general is unique where it provides legal advice to the government and should work with the courts when there is a difference in opinion as in the suspension of two members of parliament under the Leadership Code.”

Nape said rather than making public outbursts, it would be better for Sir Arnold to approach the issue diplomatically through consultations with the judiciary for an amicable understanding rather than to raise doubts and confusion among the citizens.

He said the attorney-general was the principal legal adviser to the government and had a duty to administer the laws of the country, including in interpreting the Constitution while the judiciary is responsible for interpreting the laws including the Constitution and administering justice.

“The office of the attorney-general should approach the judiciary to discuss and rectify the situation.”



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