By S. Harrish
A ROYAL commission of inquiry (RCI) should be set up to reform the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), said Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
She said the RCI should comprise top constitutional experts with impeccable impartiality and comparative insights.
“The AGC is currently a super-agency with four roles: government’s legal advisor, public prosecution, the governing body of lower court judges, and the law-drafting body.
“The embodiment of the first three roles in one agency had resulted in a severe conflict of interest that has clouded the practice of rule of law and heightened allegations of selective prosecution and impunity, therefore affecting business confidence reflected amongst others in the Corruption Perceptions Index (by Transparency International),” Azalina said, reports The Vibes.
The Pengerang MP said prosecutions should be reserved for an independent body led by the solicitor-general, who enjoys independence and job security similar to that of a Federal Court judge.
Meanwhile, lower court judges can be placed under the judiciary services as specialised judges in specialised courts.
As for law-drafting, she suggested that it should be assigned to an independent parliamentary draftsman office.
“In the United Kingdom, both the AG and deputy solicitor-general, are parliamentarians from the government party but not ministers.
“In Australia and Canada, the AG is the cabinet (member) in charge of justice.
“New Zealand has both the attorney-general and justice minister in cabinet.”
Azalina had also asked Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun to attend the special parliamentary session on Monday, so that MPs can receive clarification on certain matters.