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Senior public servants receive tuition in administrative and constitutional law

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Thursday 26 May 2011 The government of Saint Lucia is taking a deliberate step to enhance its capacity in areas relating to law.


For the first time permanent secretaries and other senior public officers are receiving training in Administrative and Constitutional Law as it relates to the execution of their public duties to the people of Saint Lucia.


Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Honourable Lorenzo Francis, says the effective and efficient running of the state is heavily reliant on the understanding and capacity of senior public officers in the area of public law.


“At the AG`s Chambers we are inundated with notices of intended action against public officers the majority of which emanate from the negligence of ultra vires acts of public officers in the execution of the duties, notwithstanding the vires or legality of our acts, such cases of intended action can be minimised if senior public servants are armed with a better understand of public and administrative law.”


The training which began with an inaugural Administrative and Constitution Law workshop on Wednesday May 25, also exposed the managers of the public service to an understanding of the implications of a lack of knowledge on the principles of law that predominate the operations of the public service and government.


The attorney general says such training is critical given the development of the laws and a greater understanding among citizens of their legal rights.


“Senior public officers are entrusted with wide discretionary powers which include making critical decision on how, when, and where state resources are utilised and expended. The imposition on such obligation on citizens especially when it comes to matters of taxation, the granting of licences, and permits, require  some cautious administration; how public officers exercise that power and duty they have been entrusted with by the state machinery is vital. It is critical for the sustenance of any functioning democracy that the state machinery operates in accordance with the governing principles of law.”


The inaugural Administrative and Constitutional Law Workshop was organised by the attorney general’s chamber and the ministry of the public service.


The legal lessons were offered by the Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Honourable Hugh Anthony Rawlins.

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