Oct 28, 2007

Mincing Alice

Khaiyum’s legal mistake

Interim AG seems oblivious to the serious legal mistake he caused prompting Government House to release a statement to his defence, which is legally flawed.

Khaiyum in his defence said:

‘If I was going to make a legal mistake, I would say to continue as chairperson, notwithstanding the provisions of section 71. It’s a mistake in terms of the empirical evidence as opposed to the legal issues. Let’s not gone down that path. It’s not a legal mistake.’

Interim AG did in fact make a legal mistake and a serious one at that.

He refers to section 71, but I counsel him to read section 76(3):

‘76(1) The Constituency Boundaries Commission consists of:
(a) a chairperson; and
(b) 2 other persons.
(2) The chairperson must be a person who is, or is qualified to be, a Judge.
(3) The chairperson is appointed by the President, acting in his or her own judgement, following consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.’

The Interim AG’s legal mistake is that he is neither the Prime Minister nor the Leader of the Opposition; therefore, he cannot consult with President Iloilo regarding the chairperson of the Constituency Boundaries Commission.

Yet, Khaiyum maintains he will always adhere to the provisions of the Constitution!

The statement from Government House further compounds this mistake.

It mistakenly assumes Khaiyum has a constitutional role to play in the appointment of a Chairperson to the Constituency Boundaries Commission, whereas section 76(3) excludes him altogether.

It said:

‘The mistake has been ratified and we look forward to working with the Attorney-General in appointing a Chairperson of the Constitutuency Boundaries Commission.’

This statement is legally flawed because the Interim AG has no constitutional role whatsoever to play in the appointment of a Chairperson to the Constituency Boundaries Commission.

This statement is real evidence of substandard legal advice being provided to President Iloilo.

Section 76(3) requires that he act on his own judgement, when appointing the chairperson of the Constituency Boundaries Commission.

The Government House statement further raises questions regarding his mental competence and in particular, the issue of whether President Iloilo can ascertain for himself his constitutional duties?

Tui Savu.

Vinaka Tui - keep it coming .

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