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Mar 20, 2013

President of Bar vs. Foreign Minister on General Legal Council

Eamon Courtenay

But while the Attorney-General and the Bar Association seem inclined to dialogue, one particular section of the proposed amendment which is sure to generate some heated discussion is the matter of the General Legal Council. Currently, the council is appointed by the Association, but the amendment as it is proposed will give that power to the Attorney-General. Elrington says he wants nothing to do with appointing the members of the Council, but Courtenay disputes that assertion.

 

Eamon Courtenay, President, Bar Association [File: March 19th, 2013]

“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.”

 

Wilfred Elrington

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“What has been happening in the past is that the few people who dominate the Bar have been appointing their friends and cronies on the General Legal Council. So the same people who dominate the Bar, dominate the General Legal Council. And those people in my view have not shown the kind of professionalism that makes one feel comfortable going before them. When you are going before a judicial tribunal of any type, you want to feel comfortable; you want to feel that the people who are there are going to be objective and are going to be bound by legal principles and by the law. I am afraid that I have not had that experience; I have had just the opposite experience. And so I think that it is imperative that we find a way to so craft a legal council that the members are going to be objective, erudite, well learned, well steeped in the law and are going to be scrupulously fair. How we get that is going to be a task, but I think it is something that is well worth fighting for. I personally want to appoint nobody. I don’t want to influence no institution. I just wanna hope that we can build a strong, independent, effective Bar Association and General Legal Council that everybody can have confidence and faith in.”

 

How the Bar and the AG will find common ground on the issue of the General Legal Council is anybody’s guess.

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1 Response for “President of Bar vs. Foreign Minister on General Legal Council”

  1. Marie says:

    let the Legal council get off its @$$ and punish some lying and theifing lawyers. Who cares who appoints them? how many are lodged complaints and no solution or punishments? people are watching and feeling the pain president and nothing is ever done. Time and time again-lawyers on TV stealing poor people and investor money. Nobody does anything now anyway to punish bad lawyers.

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