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Mar 19, 2013

Bar Association worries about formation of General Legal Council

Eamon Courtenay

To round out his openly critical response to the Attorney-General’s very blatant and apologetic targeting of the Bar Association, Eamon Courtenay touched on a very sensitive topic, the General Legal Council. Currently that oversight body is appointed by the Bar Association, but if the amendment goes through, it will be appointed by the Attorney General. According to Courtenay, that turn of events could lead to some very interesting, though not exactly ethical scenarios.


Eamon Courtenay, President, Bar Association

“The General Legal Council is the body that has primary responsibility for considering issues of discipline. The General Legal Council does not discipline attorneys—I want to make that clear—it considers and makes a recommendation to the Chief Justice who determines what is to happen. That body is currently comprised of the Attorney General, the President of the Bar Association and four members elected by the Association; two of whom must have at least ten years standing—so they must be senior attorneys under General Legal Council. The proposal is to amend that and the four persons who are elected will be appointed by the Attorney General. And we say that that is wrong because it is introducing a political element. Secondly, the Attorney General would appoint those persons who are elected by the Bar Association or any other person from any other association. So for example, you have the Bar Association and if the law is passed an another association is formed, the Attorney General can—if he chooses—recognize that Association. If you have the Bar Association and this new association and he recognizes both, he could say you elect two and you elect two. And therefore I will get my four and then he would make that appointment. There are obvious dangers with that. Five people could get together and form an association and the Attorney General might say yeah I recognize that Association and that may elect four people and the Attorney General—under the law as he is proposing—would be entitled to appoint those four. So that does not inspire confidence, it does not inspire independence, it does not inspire transparency and so the Association is going to be suggesting to the government that that needs to be changed.”


According to Courtenay, since the Attorney-General claims that he wants the input of the Bar, he expects that the recommendations of the Association will be considered, and that the matter will not be taken to the House before that happens. A House meeting is scheduled for Thursday, at which point we’ll know definitively if Courtenay’s confidence in the word of the AG is justified, or misplaced, at least as far as this issue is concerned

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1 Response for “Bar Association worries about formation of General Legal Council”

  1. belmopaneze says:

    For all the verbosity and aura of intelligence that Sedi cultivates , it is still clear to all that, foremost, he is only interested in those issues that touch on his ego, and secondly those issues that affect the wishes of his party! This portrayal of nationalistic concern is nothing but a cloak for egocentric distress at his inadequacies as revealed thru his own mouth over the last few years. Lets not forget the many blunders, blurbs and outright arrogance of his words in so many instances recently! Sedi needs to be spanked like the little petulant child he is!! ….or maybe it’s a baby bottle he needs! His utter uselessness as revealed in his words would be hilarious if they were not so injurious to so many issues of national concern! Go away useless Sedi! just go away!

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