Overview of the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the Attorney General


Vision Statement

To be the pre-eminent law chambers of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
 

Mission Statement

To promote justice in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas through the delivery of comprehensive and efficient legal services to the government.
 

Areas of Responsibility

The Ministry of Legal Affairs and the Attorney General is primarily responsible for:

  • providing timely legal advice to the government and statutory bodies.
  • providing the most efficient and effective legal representation for the government in national and international matters.
  • drafting legislation.
  • promoting access to justice for all and transparency in the legal system.

Key Functions and Responsibilities

Public Prosecutions

The Department of Public Prosecutions is the division of the Office of the Attorney General that has been authorised by the Attorney General related to the execution of the Attorney General’s constitutional and legal responsibility for the commencement and cessation of criminal prosecutions in The Bahamas.

The Department of Public Prosecutions is responsible for the prosecution of all criminal matters before the Supreme Court and the general oversight of magisterial prosecutions.

Civil Chambers

The functions of the Civil Chambers include:

  • vetting and preparing conveyances, leases, contracts and other agreements on behalf of the government.
  • providing advice to the government, its ministries and various statutory corporations.
  • rendering opinions for government ministries and statutory corporations on the interpretation of laws.

Civil Litigation

The section is primarily responsible for:

  • representing the government in all civil proceedings instituted by or against the government.
  • representing statutory public corporations in all civil proceedings instituted by or against it.
  • rendering legal advice to all government ministries and departments and statutory public corporations.
  • representing the Crown in all judicial review proceedings in non-criminal law matters.

International Unit

The principal functions of the Unit are:

  • to provide assistance in criminal proceedings pursuant to Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties with the United States of America, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
  • to provide assistance in criminal proceedings pursuant to the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Act, Ch. 105.
  • to provide assistance in civil matters pursuant to the Evidence (Proceedings in Other Jurisdictions) Act, Ch. 66.
  • to carry out bilateral and multilateral treaty obligations related to the OAS, the U.N. and other multilateral organisations of which The Bahamas is a member.

Legal Drafting

The Legislative Drafting Section is primarily responsible for:

  • drafting principal legislation for Parliament.
  • drafting subsidiary legislation for ministers of government.
  • drafting opinions on the interpretation of laws for the various government ministries and other public bodies.

Law Reform

In accordance with section 4 of the Act, the general function of the Commission is to keep under review the laws of The Bahamas with a view to modernising their systematic development and reform. In order to do this, the Commission:

  • receives and considers proposals for reform which may be made or referred to them.
  • submits to the minister (responsible for Law Reform) recommendations for the examination of various areas of the law to be reformed.
  • drafts bills with proposals of reform as recommended to the minister.
  • advises ministries, departments or other authorities or persons concerned with proposals for the reform of the laws.
  • obtains laws from foreign jurisdictions that would assist in the reform of the laws of The Bahamas.

Law Revision

The general function of the Commission as regards Law Revision is to prepare revised editions of the existing laws with a view to the repeal and elimination of all obsolete or archaic laws and laws which are temporary in nature. In carrying out its revisionary functions, the Commission is subject to the directions of the minister.

Sections 6 and 6A of the Act, require that the Commission:

  • prepares a revised edition of the laws, once in every five years.
  • prepares annual updates of the loose leaf edition of the laws showing what amendments and new laws have been enacted since the production of a revised edition.
  • arranges for the printing and publication of the revised edition and the annual updates.

Annual Report 2010
Annual Report 2011
Annual Report 2012-2013

Address and Contact Information:

Office Of The Attorney-General
John F. Kennedy Drive
Immediately West of Ministry of Public Works
N-3007
Nassau
New Providence
The Bahamas
Tel. (242) 502-0400
Fax. (242) 325-7798
Opening hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except on public holidays.

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