Association des juristes de l'État denounces appropriation of government
legal advisor functions

QUEBEC CITY, June 8 /CNW Telbec/ - The Association des juristes de l'État (AJE) has submitted sixteen cases to Kathleen Weil, Minister of Justice, in which it has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that employees are, unbeknownst to the Minister of Justice, providing legal advice and participating in legal consultations, thus usurping the role of legal advisor to the government.

As stipulated in Section 3 of the Act Respecting the Ministère de la Justice, the Minister of Justice acts as legal advisor to the Lieutenant-Governor and is the legal member of the Conseil exécutif du Québec.

The Minister's responsibilities in this role include establishing State public policy in justice matters, ensuring that public affairs are administered in accordance with the law and advising incumbent ministers of various Quebec government Departments on all matters of law concerning said Departments.

The AJE affirms that protection of the rule of law is essential in a free and democratic society. To this end, the legal advisor functions assigned to the Minister of Justice must be discharged in an independent fashion, i.e., free from any possible influence by the Conseil exécutif or the incumbent ministers of the various Departments to which this legal advice must be provided.

In the sole interests of consistent government action, legal opinions delivered by the Minister of Justice must prevail and be of predominant influence within government.

The AJE has observed that a number of government Departments no longer even make an effort to seek the Justice Minister's advice on matters of law that concern them. These Departments show an increasing preference for leaving matters to their own "legal advisor". The AJE can only decry the Justice Minister's loss of influence within government and its consequences.

While many of these "legal advisors" are members in good standing of the Québec Bar and the Chambre des notaires, others are not. The AJE hopes that the 96 complaints it has presented over the past few weeks - of illicit practice of the legal and notary professions - have served to establish accurate and corroborative presumptions of serious significance in this regard.

SOURCE Association des juristes de l'État (AJE)

For further information: For further information: Marc Lajoie, attorney and AJE president, (418) 651-4888, (418) 570-6178

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Association des juristes de l'État (AJE)

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