THE dilemma which faced the St Lucia government over the position of Attorney General following the June general elections has been resolved.
Ms. Kim St Rose whose appointment by the former government on contract was to expire in 2018, has agreed to take up another position, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet announced Wednesday night while speaking on a television programme.
Chastanet said St Rose will take up responsibility for implementing the recommendations of the Constitutional Review Commission whose report has been accepted by both Houses of parliament.
A one-time magistrate St Rose vacated the post of Attorney General last Friday. Her presence in the Chastanet Cabinet was considered something of an anomaly considering that she was a party in a case lodged by the former Labour Government against the current Prime Minister.
After the June elections, St. Rose automatically became a member of Chastanet’s Cabinet, after also having held the position under the Labour Party, a situation that proved uncomfortable for both herself and the new government.
On Wednesday, Chastanet thanked St Rose for stepping down from the position and announced her new role with the government.
He said St Rose will begin paying attention to the implementation of the recommendations of the Constitutional Review Commission, beginning with those that have found favour with both his party and the opposition St Lucia Labour Party.
Meanwhile the island has av new Attorney General. Stephen Julien, also a former Magistrate, was officially presented to the nation by Governor General Dame PearletteLouisy after he took the Oath of Office and Allegiance at Government House on Thursday.
Julien was accompanied by his wife Mrs. Sherry Ann Julien and his two sons. He said:
“I am deeply honoured to have been chosen to serve as Attorney General at this juncture in our country’s history. During my tenure I will have oversight for the services provided by various sections or departments which have the responsibility for providing services such as the general administration of the Attorney General’s Chambers, advice and litigation on civil matters to central Government, Legislative drafting and the Registry of Companies and Intellectual Property. My first order of business will be to meaningfully engage these departments with a view to assessing their particular needs”
One of the first issues the Attorney General wanted to address was staffing of the office and he made an urgent appeal to the Government.
Julien thanked the Governor General for allowing him to serve within the Cabinet..
Prime Minister Chastanet says that the government recognized that several essential government departments have been understaffed, zeroing in on the Attorney General’s and the Office of the DPP.
“Clearly there is a need to hire additional lawyers and administrative staff in those departments,” PM Chastanet told the audience. “If we are to ensure transparency and good governance and if we are to be a viable destination for investment the rule of law is critical. It must be perceived by all and sundry that the government and the people of this country hold this in the highest esteem. It is the intention of this government, as difficult as it is going to be in the coming months and years, to find the resources to make this happen. I give you the assurance, I give Her Excellency the assurance and I give the people of this great country the assurance that we will find the resources to ensure that we deliver.”
Mr. Julien was called to the Bar in Saint Lucia in 1998 and holds a Legal Education Certificate from the Sir Hugh Wooding Law School and is the holder of a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the West Indies. He has also previously served as Consul General to Saint Lucia in Toronto, Canada.