Richards: Is Government’s Legal Advice Under Question?

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

DOES the Government now have to question the legal advice it has been receiving?

This was the question asked by Independent Senator Paul Richards during his contribution to the debate on the Public Procurement and Disposal of Property (amendment and validation) Bill in the Senate on Thursday.

Referring to Clause 6 of the Bill which dealt with the validation of two legal notices, he said to validate something simply meant to fix what was wrong.

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Richards said just recently, there was the validation pertaining to the local government election and this week, parliamentarians were back in the Chamber to deal with not one but two validations.

“Is the government going to start to question the level of the quality of the legal advice its taking?” he asked.

Richards continued, “ Because if you are taking advice, having acted on that advice, breaking the law in effect, you have to ask yourself if the legal advice you getting is good advice.”

He made sure to mention he was not pointing at any one person but the situation  and it may not have been the intention to deliberately break the law by the Government.

But Richards said if parliamentarians were to go back to the Chambers in three months to validate something else, “We are going to become a laughing stock.”

He said, “I am hoping that this sort of bill doesn’t come to the Parliament again where we have to validate illegality.”

He suggested to the Government that they may need to seek other legal advice.

Richards along with Independent Senators Dr Varma Deyalsingh and Evans Welch abstained during the voting process of the Bill.


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