FURTHER STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR GENERAL’S POWERS TO SET UP A COMMISSION OF INQUIRY
His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams, Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda previously sought three opinions on the authority of the Governor General to initiate a commission of inquiry.
The opinions from Messrs Gregory Jones KC and Allan Wood KC were shared with the public last week. The third opinion from Mr. Luis Franceschi, the Senior Director of Governance and Peace Directorate of the Commonwealth Secretariat, has now been received and is hereby attached.
It is noted that the opinion which is in keeping with the two previous submissions released last week, concludes as follows:
“Therefore, the power to initiate a commission of inquiry would ultimately rest with the government or Parliament, not the monarch and therefore not the Governor General and it is our opinion that the Governor General would be overreaching its delegated powers by initiating a Commission of Inquiry on his/her own volition.
Thus, the phrase ‘whenever he shall deem it advisable’ finds its application not as the trigger of a COI on the Governor General’s own volition, but only in the manner and modalities a COI may be established on the advice received from Parliament or Cabinet, and it is our opinion that this matter should be referred to Cabinet or Parliament for resolution before it is brought to the Governor General.”
Luis G. Franceschi is the Senior Director of the Governance and Peace Directorate, Commonwealth Secretariat. He was the Founding Dean of Strathmore University Law School, regarded as one of the most reputable and innovative law schools in Africa. His area of expertise is the convergence between Constitutional Law and Public International Law. He has also been a legal advisor to several national and international government agencies, commissions, and programmes, including international courts, the UN and World Bank.