By Dana Seetahal
May 30, 2010 – guardian.co.tt
“…one of the matters that I have questions about is the Ministry of Justice. As I write this column, there has yet been no Minister of Justice appointed. My concern, though, is how such a ministry will function within the provisions of our constitution.
Section 76 (2) of the constitution provides that the AG is responsible for the “administration of legal affairs” in T&T. This, however, is subject to section 79, which allows the PM to advise the President to assign responsibility for the administration of any department to any minister. It appears, therefore, that the PM may effectively assign responsibility for administration of “legal affairs” to any minister. But can she assign responsibility for the Criminal Law Department to a Minister of Justice? If so, what is to be the nature of such a responsibility? Under section 90 of the constitution, the Director of Public Prosecutions may institute and undertake criminal prosecutions against anyone, in any court in respect of any offence.
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