Thursday, November 19, 2015
YAHAPALANAYA – Will happen if we follow these steps (Part Two)
My first assault was on the Police Department and the need to strengthen its capacity and integrity, in the previous entry, and resources will have to be given.
Stage two is the Attorney General’s Department. If my recommendations are followed, not only will the short term Yahapalanaya crimes be brought to book, but the whole Judicial System, will come to 21st Century levels of efficiency and productivity, that will encompass crime, prison reform, clearing up society of some endemic problems of drugs and its spread. Leaving no room for religious militancy, in any form, and certainly not having to implement a Jihad against the Jihadists!
Lets start at the top. We need to run the AGs department like a company. A new AG from outside MUST be appointed to clean up the mess. He will need two able PAs with power. They will not be lawyers. Perhaps MBAs or Accountants or administrators tasked with efficiently running the department.
So let’s start with the AG. The current crop of Kapilas, Navaratnas, Suhadas are NOT UP TO THE TASK AT HAND. They will have to put out to pasture, to some foreign mission, as their presence WILL undermine the task of the new AG. Effectively the whole second string will be furloughed. This will leave the third string to show their colors under the new rules, new methods of measurement to perform to their utmost with NO POLITICIZATION and backstabbing!
In keeping with some kind of past tradition let us choose a Judge of the Supreme Court. From the list I picked Buweneka Aluvihare. See link. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Justices_of_the_Supreme_Court_of_Sri_Lanka
Can anyone tell me why if at all he is not qualified to be the next Attorney General! He will have two competent people to help him change the whole system. I don’t have time to breakdown the areas of authority, but to say that a triumvirate will make his task that much easier as it is otherwise too stressful to carry out effectively on one’s own.
First task is to ask Parliament to give them authority for ONE year to advise the Police (CID, FCID etc.) of how to conduct the investigations, as they are not being sufficiently thorough with evidence and detail in order to prosecute at present, and the Media and Public are taking he AGs office to task at the incompetence of the Police department. Historically the AGs department don’t talk to the press, and so are unable to explain the reasons for this delay.
The next task is to re organize the whole department. Independently evaluate the competence of all senior state counsel and actually ask them for their own opinion on what is wrong, and how they would change the system were they given the task!
A thorough training program of the State Counsel is needed to get them up to speed not necessarily in the law, which they are competent on but in areas where their individual productivity can be greatly improved and if need be assistants given to them to train others to take some of the work, or easy case loads. They are currently overworked, and so are not doing justice to justice!
Then a resource requirement review to give them the tools to do their job, more effectively. That includes transport, computer and stenographer and other tools. Better accommodation to house them, and a thorough review of the 50+ High Court staffing from the AGs department. Case-load, backlog, evidence shortfalls, and training. Then a separate unit should be immediately set up to handle the myriad of ADVICE FILES and that backlog can be cleared, making their task all the more easy. State Counsel having to do this in their spare time is not the way to go as is done at present.
Performance evaluation measures must be put in place so that merit advancement takes place, so competent people can rise up the ladder faster, and not just time servers who are incapable. Recruitment to this department must be handled professionally to get the best, and the reputation of the AGs department will automatically rise, helping all those who will finally move out, to get the best training that will hold them in later life. In that sense the actually pay scales need not be high as the value of training will outweigh any shortage in remuneration.
International exposure should be part of the perks earned for competent handling of cases ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY, and judges will also be asked to assess these State Counsel, so that their evaluation will truly be meritocratic.
This resulting overhaul, will create a CULTURE of competence, and pride in the service, and will be the envy of the legal profession in Sri Lanka. Incompetent lawyers who defend their clients, will know the State Prosecutors are top class, working on behalf of the state to bring rascals to book!
The Justice Minister’s intervention must only be on matters or administration and not of managing any single case. This will make for a powerful AG, who will be able to back his department, against any criticism laid against them, and I have no doubt that ALL lawyers will back me in this proposal!
I also propose a weekly meeting between the Attorney General and IGP, in order to smooth out all prosecutorial issues, so that Justice will speed up, and backlogs will not arise, and misunderstandings kept to a minimum.