8 May 2007

Call on Solomons to keep judiciary and executive apart

1:41 pm on 8 May 2007

A political scientist says it is advantageous that a clear separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive in Solomon Islands be maintained.

Dr John Henderson, from Canterbury University, was commenting after reports that the prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, is pushing ahead with plans to make Julian Moti the Attorney General, despite his appointment being suspended by the Public Service Commission.

Mr Moti is also facing child sex charges in Australia connected to his time in Vanuatu.

Dr Henderson says some countries, including New Zealand, have Attorney-Generals which are political appointments but in these cases, there is also a Solicitor General to decide on prosecutions.

He says this prevents interference in the judiciary.

"The danger of any political appointment is that the person is there at the behest of the appointee which is, in this case, the prime minister and so therefore will respond to political considerations. So, what happens is that political considerations can enter into such questions as what prosecutions will be undertaken."

Dr John Henderson.