Minister for Justice and Community Services, Christophe Emelee yesterday confirmed to Daily Post the appointment of Mr. Ishmael Kalsakau as New Attorney General (AG) for the Government of Vanuatu.
This appointment was made through an Instrument of Appointment by the Head of State his Excellency, Iolu Johnson Abbil on 8th May 2014 at Port Vila following a recommendation from the Judicial Services Commission (JSC).
The JSC is made up of the Minister for Justice as Chairman, the Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek as a member, the Chairman of the Public Services Commission, Maurice Michel as Member, and the Chairman of the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs as member.
Minister Emelee explained that the appointment was the result of a long and tedious process, beginning with the appointment of an Interview Panel by the JSC.
The High level technical Interview Panel consisted of the First Political Advisor to the Ministry of Justice, the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court as Secretary, The Secretary General of the Public Services Commission as member, the Chairman of the Vanuatu Law Society as member, and the Director General of the Ministry of Justice as member.
The Minster said that the Position was advertised two times, firstly in 2013 and the second in 2014.
Only two applicants applied for the post last year and again when it was re-advertise this year, and these were the current Attorney General, and the current Solicitor General Mrs.Viran Molisa Trief.
The Minister says the JSC gave a lot of consideration to Gender issues in regard to this important position because one of the applicants was a woman, and it was the duty of the government to consider women for high positions in Government.
These gender considerations were also given high priority by the high level interview panel.
The minister says according to the interview panel report to the Commission, the competition for the top post was very tough between the two candidates, and the running scores of the two candidates were very close to each other , but Mr. Kalsakau won by just a few points as assessed by the interview Panel.
The Panel made recommendations to the JSC; the JSC made its own judgments and then made recommendations to the Head of State who made the appointment.
The term of office of the Attorney General is three years under the State Law Act.
The Justice Minister says that he is satisfied and so is the Judicial Services Commission, of which he is Chairman that the process applied by the Commission for this post is transparent, and was transparent all the way to the appointment by the Head of State according to Law.
The Minister is now satisfied that the matter of the vacancy in this important office of the Attorney General for the Government of Vanuatu is now complete and the next important position to deal with now is that of the Public Prosecutor.