PM transfers statutory bodies
Denyse Renne email@example.com
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has removed the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB), Police Complaints Authority (PCA) and the Legal Aid Advisory Authority (LAAA) from under the purview of the Ministry of Justice.
The statutory bodies are now under the ambit of the Ministry of Legal Affairs which is headed by Prakash Ramadhar.
It is understood the transfer was made since these units are heavily involved in legal frameworking. Recently appointed Justice Minister Emmanuel George is not a lawyer.
With the change yet to be gazetted, sources said yesterday the services of at least two board members of the CICB and the LAAA will be terminated.
PCA director Gillian Lucky,who is currently out of the country, told the Express yesterday that the PCA continues to be an independent organisation.
In a brief interview Lucky said: “There was an amendment to the PCA Act in 2011 that enables the Prime Minister to assign responsibility of the PCA to any ministry.
“The PCA continues to advocate for the amendments to the PCA Act to make it more effective in its ability to fulfill its statutory mandate,” Lucky said.
Senior Counsel Israel Khan who chairs the LAAA welcomed the change saying in his view “this should have happened since the inception”.
“This should have been under legal affairs since legal aid is for impoverished persons”, Khan said.
Adding that the Justice Ministry went under the purview of a “non-lawyer”, Khan said “I am heartened to know it is under the legal affairs”.
Criminal attorney Wayne Sturge who heads the CIBC board via text message said he was engaged in a court matter and was unable to respond when contacted yesterday afternoon.