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Office of the President (OP)
GOVERNMENT CONCERNED ABOUT UNWARRANTED ATTACKS ON THE INSTIT...
05/08/11

Government wishes to express its disappointment with what we perceive as an unfortunate trend toward unwarranted, at times even malicious, attacks in the media on the institutional integrity of the Attorney General's Chambers and the Office of the Attorney General.

In this respect we are particularly concerned  by recent commentary, including some especially offensive  cartoons, which have set out to ridicule the person of the Attorney-General, while grossly misinterpreting the content of a 12/7/11 answer to a question in Parliament by the Minister of Defence Justice and Security.
 
In the said statement the Minister specifically informed the House that
the:

* Outsourcing for assistance in cases by the Attorney General's Chambers has been a longstanding and not uncommon practice.

* Circumstances in which additional legal counsel may be recruited to assist Chambers is in all cases determined by the Attorney General, based on her own professional assessment of specialized needs required by the Chambers in a given situation.

* The factors that determine whether a case should be outsourced include the capacity of the Attorney General's Chambers to handle the case which is influenced by the urgency, size, complexity, novelty of matter and the availability of human capital.

* Decision by Attorney General to seek the services of Collins and Newman in the case before the Industrial Court was based on the firm's extensive experience in dealing with labour matters, as evidenced by the law firm's track record of involvement with major industrial action litigation in since the early 1990's.

* It was the Attorney General who furthermore instructed the said law firm to litigate on her behalf and otherwise oversaw and was ultimately responsible for its performance in the matter.

It should be noted at no point in his answer did the Honourable Minister make a judgment on the efficiency or professional integrity of the Attorney General and her staff, as some of the media reports have suggested.

Finally, we wish to observe  that, in as much as we recognize and fully respect the right of individuals to publish their opinion, we also believe that responsible members of the media  should exercise professional respect for others by appreciating and upholding the difference between fair comment and misleading personal attacks on public servants and institutions.

 

 

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