The government is defending the appointment of a Ministerial Council of Legal Advisors for Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams SC.
On Thursday, State Minister Joseph Harmon explained that the five persons selected, which includes retired Judges, had volunteered their services.
But he also confirmed that while the team of advisors will be paid from the public’s purse, the sum will be “nominal.”
Some letter writers and commentators have raised concern about the appointment of the ministerial council of legal advisors and the question of remuneration had arisen.
Persons had also questioned why the council of advisors is necessary now, two years into the 5-year term of the APNU+AFC administration.
During a Post Cabinet Brief, Harmon dismissed those concerns and said it was move that the government felt was needed.
“We have talent that is available in this country and when you have people who have served as Judges and who have actually given their consent to act in this capacity it is something any government will take and hold with both hands immediately”, Harmon added.
The council is made up of former Caribbean Court of Justice Judge, Duke Pollard; former High Court Judge, Justice James Patterson; former Justice of Appeal, Claudette Singh SC, who is currently the Guyana Police Force’s Legal Advisor as well as Professor Harold Lutchman, former professor of the University of Guyana (UG) and Rudy James who still serves as a professor at UG.
The functions of the council will include providing legal analysis and advice on the development of the justice sector, the government’s legislative agenda and litigation matters.
Harmon had said that this would enable the council to have an input of legal policy designs and to engage stakeholders who are interested in the justice sector.
The council is to be assisted in the execution of its mandate by support staff from the Ministry of Legal Affairs.