AG’S Department Continues to Provide Crucial Legal Advice

Photo: JIS Photographer Attorney General, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte.

Story Highlights

  • The Attorney General’s Department was instrumental in facilitating several crucial domestic laws and international negotiations last year, through the provision of legal advice.
  • Attorney General, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte, said the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs division played a pivotal role throughout the development stages of the Law Reform Zones of Special Operations (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act, 2017, and the Constitution (Amendment)(Established Fund)(Payment of Pensions) Act and the Pensions (Public Service) Act.

The Attorney General’s Department was instrumental in facilitating several crucial domestic laws and international negotiations last year, through the provision of legal advice.

Attorney General, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte, said the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs division played a pivotal role throughout the development stages of the Law Reform Zones of Special Operations (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act, 2017, and the Constitution (Amendment)(Established Fund)(Payment of Pensions) Act and the Pensions (Public Service) Act.

Additionally, she said the Division provided legal advice in the development and passage of the Building Act, “another landmark reform measure, which will modernise regulation of the building industry, taking into account… public safety and welfare”.

“I want to put on record my special commendation of the division’s team, headed by Deputy Solicitor General, Marlene Aldred. They work very closely with me on Cabinet and Parliamentary matters,” she noted.

The Attorney General was making her contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (July 3).

She noted, further, that the International Affairs division, which advises the Government on all matters involving public and private international law, represented Jamaica in the negotiation of a new regional agreement for Latin America and the Caribbean on access to information, justice and public participation in environmental matters.

She pointed out that the agreement was adopted in San José, Costa Rica, in March.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Malahoo Forte said the AG’s Chambers continues to work closely with the Justice Ministry in advising on the establishment of a National Human Rights Institute, in accordance with the Paris Principles for the promotion and protection of human rights.

Additionally, Mrs. Malahoo Forte informed that the division continues to support the National Task Force Against Trafficking In Persons “and assisted in preparing our report to the State Department of the United States for its annual Trafficking in Persons Report”.

She said the AG’s Chambers also considered requests for assistance from Trinidad and Tobago, and Belgium under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.

“In considering the request from Belgium, we made a certain recommendation to the Minister of Justice, which resulted in the Mutual Assistance (Criminal Matters)(Foreign States)(Kingdom of Belgium) Order, 2018, which was affirmed in this Honourable House on June 8, 2018,” she told the House.

The Attorney General said her office continues to assist other government entities, such as Jamaica Customs Agency, to negotiate agreements with partners such as the United States, the Netherlands, and the Caribbean Customs and Law Enforcement Council.

“Through the work of the International Affairs division, the Chambers were also able to approve the sharing of assets in a number of requests from the United Kingdom and the United States,” she added.

Mrs. Malahoo Forte further highlighted several matters handled by the Commercial division with the assistance of two commercial-law consultants, dating back to May 2017.

These include the Draft Concession Agreement for the proposed modernisation and expansion of the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston; draft Heads of Agreement between the Government of Jamaica, acting through the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, and the CCA Jamaica Development Group Limited and Urban Development Corporation; and a loan contract between Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank for the National Identification System’s (NIDS) implementation.

Other matters are Draft Joint Venture Agreements by the Factories Corporation of Jamaica to develop the Naggo Head Technology Park in Portmore, St. Catherine, and the Morant Bay Urban Centre in St. Thomas; the Draft Natural Gas Agreement; an $86-million joint venture agreement involving the Government, Housing Agency of Jamaica, and Pavement and Structures Limited for the development of housing solutions in St. Catherine; divestment of Wallenford Coffee Company through the sale of Government shares; and Urban Development Corporation commercial development projects on the Kingston Waterfront, and involving Port Royal Development Company.

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