Archive for October 25th, 2013

TCI premier challenges attorney general in court

| 25/10/2013 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Dr Rufus Ewing, the premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands is challenging the TCI attorney general’s authority to make decisions without consulting Cabinet. Ewing and the UK appointed Huw Shepheard have been in engaged in an increasingly stormy relationship, and the local press is reporting that an originating summons has been filed in the TCI Supreme Court regarding the AG’s claimed right to commence and defend civil proceedings by or against the government or anyone else as he sees fit, without seeking the prior approval of Cabinet. The TCI government wants this tested and believes that it is in the public interest that the proper interpretation of the constitution be resolved by the Court.

According to SunTCI, Ewing is seeking the determination of the court whether Section 41 of the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution Order 2011 or any other provision of the Constitution, authorizes the attorney general to prosecute anyone without informing the Cabinet of his intention to institute proceedings and prosecute such proceedings.

Ewing believes that the AG must obtain the approval and instructions from Cabinet before instituting proceedings, defending claims, or any litigation even if it is against government.

Apart from financial considerations, there may also be public interests and public policy reasons why a particular claim should or should not be brought or should or should not be defended, he said.

“These are all matters which Cabinet must and should consider before instituting or defending civil proceedings,” Ewing said. “I do not believe that the proper construction of section 41 of the Constitution is one which enables the Attorney General to make these important decisions on behalf of the Government with the elected members of Cabinet being kept in the dark. The Attorney General's position and his manifest behaviour raise an important constitutional principle which should be determined by this court.”

Continue Reading