AG's office fails to deliver emergency orders extension in time

Attorney General Carl Bethel. (File photo)

Attorney General Carl Bethel. (File photo)


Tribune Senior Reporter


ATTORNEY General Carl Bethel apologised Monday after his office failed to deliver a resolution extending Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis' emergency orders in time for last week’s sitting of the House of Assembly, causing the Governor General’s original proclamation of emergency to end at midnight.

Governor General C A Smith nonetheless signed a new proclamation of emergency Monday evening in time for the COVID-19 curfew and restrictions to remain in place when the previous proclamation expired.

Parliamentary rules say a resolution can only be debated if 24 hours’ notice is given, unless the House of Assembly agrees to waive the rule. The Official Opposition did not agree to waive the rule Monday, so although Dr Minnis tabled a resolution to extend his orders during Monday morning's sitting, the resolution could not be debated and passed prior to the expiration of the proclamation.

“As minister, I must accept and freely do accept full ministerial responsibility for this oversight,” Mr Bethel said in the Senate Monday.

“I reiterate that I take full ministerial responsibility. The government of the Bahamas has every right to expect and to rely upon timely, and in-time, advice from the Office of the Attorney General. This is not the Prime Minister’s oversight. This is not the government’s oversight. It is the oversight by my office, and my oversight. I apologise for this procedural oversight to His Excellency the Governor General, the Prime Minister, the government of the Bahamas, and the Bahaman people.

“I was informed that the opposition, prior to this morning’s sitting of the House of Assembly, had indicated an intention not to waive the 24 hours rule, which requires at least 24 hours’ notice between the tabling of any motion and any debate on that motion. The opposition are fully entitled to rely upon the rules of the House.”

Opposition Leader Philip “Brave” Davis slammed the mistake as an example of incompetence and ineptitude.

See Tuesday’s Tribune for more on this story.


birdiestrachan 3 years, 5 months ago

The Governor General will sign the document right away.

His rent is 9.000 per month. Imagine how may persons can be employed . just to feed their children. with his monthly rent.


DDK 3 years, 5 months ago

End the damn emergency dictatorial orders. Enough already. Enough so-called governmental pretense and confusion. Fire the PM, the AG and the so-called Governor. Expel the pirates, restore commerce AND democracy!


thps 3 years, 5 months ago

19m dollars...the budget for the Attorney General's office.

All of the lawyers in the OAG, all of the ministers, the PM, the MPs, and no one bothered to read.

If we can't get simple dates right, what about complicated issues.

The same OAG was told from a Judge Ferguson-Pratt

" That’s criminal law 101." and to the prosecution "That was not anticipated? Madam prosecutor, this is your case.”

How much leeway will the crown give you when you tell them you forgot to wear your mask? The AG himself can't remember when his order was ending! I hope 19m will buy them a sticky note.


tribanon 3 years, 5 months ago

Is it any small wonder that both Frank Smith and Shane Gibson got away with all of their "shingles" and are now suing the government for millions of dollars, each alleging they were seriously maligned by false accusations ?! Truth be told, this very mangy potcake, Bethel, has way too many fleas on him to ever be an effective AG at anything put on his plate.


TalRussell 3 years, 5 months ago

Exactly how many times has this red coat got he self, elected to the House only to be rejected by his own constituents?
Time for The Colony's Attorney General Comrade Carl Wilshire to walk the same plank as Mr. Minnis had his former health minster walk.
Simple but political career-ending clerical error don't exactly say much for the colonial tradition to appoint lawyers as King's Counsel (KC) who have made particular contributions to the legal profession, or. public life?
Looking likes Bible Thumper Renward, can now jump back at the front of the line as Mr. Minnis's PLP shoo-in to replace Dr, Duane. Just can't make this stuff up, now, can you?


hrysippus 3 years, 5 months ago

This is just almost comically unnecessary. This AG is a disaster,


joeblow 3 years, 5 months ago

Usually, stellar displays of incompetence results in a promotion or bonus in this country! I wonder which Carl will get?


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