MAY 19 — The empirical study of the separation of powers of the Attorney General (AG) and the Public Prosecutor (PP) is expected to be completed this year, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

Empirical means based on what is experienced or seen rather than on theory.

It is heartening to note that earlier this month Azalina led a delegation to conduct an empirical study of the separation of powers of the AG and PP in Ottawa, Canada, to identify a suitable model for Malaysia.

The study is expected to continue in Australia in June before concluding in the United Kingdom (UK), with the co-operation of several universities.

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Other than Canada, the UK and Australia, another jurisdiction may be looked at — that is Hong Kong.

In September last year, I also referred to Mauritius as a model of separation to look at.

Mauritius has a hybrid legal system which combines both civil and common law practices. The Indian Ocean island nation is governed by principles drawn from both the French Napoleonic Code and English Common Law. It has retained the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom as its final court of appeal.

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Its 1968 Constitution makes provisions for both the offices of the AG (Section 69) and PP (Section 72).

So, why not an empirical study of Mauritius as well?

I have suggested amending the Federal Constitution by adding Article 145A on Director of Prosecution with consequential amendments to Article 145 (on Attorney General).

The Madani government has two-thirds majority in Parliament.

In any case, the proposed amendments should receive bi-partisan support like the constitutional amendments on anti-party hopping (Article 49A).

The empirical study of the separation of powers of the Attorney General (AG) and the Public Prosecutor (PP) is expected to be completed this year, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said. — Picture by Hari Anggara
The empirical study of the separation of powers of the Attorney General (AG) and the Public Prosecutor (PP) is expected to be completed this year, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said. — Picture by Hari Anggara

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.