AG’s workload to be minimised

The Justice Ministry will limit the number of questions referred to the Attorney General’s opinion by various state departments in a bid to minimize the delay, Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala said. The minister responding to a question by UNP MP Hesha Withanage in Parliament yesterday said that the Police Department and various other Departments refer even minor legal matters to the AG and this adds an undue workload to the AG’s Department.

“The Police Department has its own legal unit, but refers even minor legal matters to the AG. Many state departments also refer the matters that could be easily resolved to the AG. In the future, we will decide as to what kind of matters could be referred to the AG and that will be informed to all Departments,” she said.

She also said that the Police Department would be informed to send samples to the Government Analyst’s Department within one week of the court order. “Sometimes, the Police Department takes months to refer the cases to the Government Analyst’s Department and this unduly delays the legal process. We will hereafter give a strict timeframe to the Police Department,” she said.

UNP MP Withanage, pointing out that recent public criticisms on the judges affect the independence of judiciary, questioned on the Justice Minister’s opinion in that regard. Minister Athukorala replied that the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary must be mindful to exercise their powers within their limits to avoid unnecessary frictions. “We created an independent judiciary by setting up the Constitutional Council and the independent commissions. The independence of these bodies must be safe guarded,” she added. 

 

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