Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Attorney General – A change in status needed with new powers and responsibilities clearly defined in the new Constitution.

Actually the argument SHOULD NOT be who should or should not be the AG it is more of what the AG acting independently should or should not do! In this regard real clarity is needed.

Firstly there is the AGs department which came under the President under the MR Govt. and Suhada Gamlath as the Secretary to the Minister of Justice, or was it additional secretary played a dual or at least not altogether independent role, which obviously completely made him eligible for the post of AG.

I also believe he had already compromised his position, so that he should not have even been appointed the Solicitor General, so this problem does not arise here, but then the personality that is Suhada Gamlath a competent but not an independent man, does not see it that way. That is why he is sulking at present. He has both refused a position at the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy there, and has also refused a possible diplomatic posting presumably remaining as the SG or a troublesome pain in the butt in the AGs department.

Let the current AG sort that out. The AG is the Government’s legal adviser, and has to advise the Govt. in cases of interpretation of the Constitution, especially when the Govt. is being prosecuted under some statute or another.

Further the AG has to defend the Govt. also when the Govt. is taken to task, especially in a place like the UNHRC, which is a completely different task, and therefore there must be a different department to advise on that kind of score.

It was obvious there were two failures on the part of the State, firstly, in not making a seamless transition from one AG to another, and the delay created more than its fair share of criticism. Secondly, the President should have only asked for a recommendation, and then he would have either approved or not, and requested another name, instead of the three sent to him, creating added confusion, and the gall the joint opposition had in giving their choice which was not even something they had any right to do in the first place!

We hope in future, the AGs appointment is clear, his responsibilities are clearer, and his independence beyond reproach, where he follows the law of the land, and not act as a mouthpiece of the Current Govt. but is above the fray.         

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