Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 26, 2015 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis’
has outlined that his duties are varied and that while his job includes giving legal advice to the Government, there also remains the possibility of him being sued
This was revealed during the “Working for You” television and radio programme on November 25, where the Attorney General was the guest.
“There is a whole body of work that is done at the attorney general’s chambers,” he explained. “As the attorney general, I am the official person who is sued, when somebody needs to sue the Government, and similarly, when the Government needs to sue someone, the Office of the Attorney General does that.”
The attorney general who also has the portfolio of Minister of Justice, Legal Affairs and Communications further noted that his office is responsible for litigation in the court in defending the Government in civil matters. He outlined his duties.
“As Attorney General, my responsibility is to give advice to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Honourable Byron said, explaining that he has a chamber, a number of lawyers who work with him and assist in providing the advice that he gives to the Government. “I have access to other counsel as well, so it is very important to understand that when I say advice to the Government, whether you are at Public Works or the Ministry of Health or in any department of Government, that the attorney general’s chambers gets every day, a lot of requests for advice.”
He explained that his chambers is kept busy writing opinions on various matters dissecting contracts and agreements that various ministries may have with contractors, providers of services to the Government and the like.
The attorney general also state that the Department of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) falls under his purview but in terms of providing administrative support such as staffing, the DPP does not confer with the attorney general on legal matters.
“The Director of Public Prosecution has constitutional responsibility for taking criminal action against anybody,” the attorney general said. “So that, if for instance there is a suit against somebody for a crime, it is the DPP who will determine whether there is criminal action to be had and he has the constitutional responsibility for doing so.” The attorney general explained that he cannot advise the DPP nor instruct him, and that constitutionally the attorney general is not to interfere in the work that he does.