Mr. Patrice Nisbett – Attorney General
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
February 18, 2010 (SKNIS)
The new Attorney General (AG) in the Federal Government, Honourable Patrice Nisbett, said strengthening the human capacity of his Ministry and improving relations between St. Kitts and Nevis was high on his agenda.
The revelation was made on Tuesday, on the SKNIS radio magazine programme Perspectives, which is running a special four-part miniseries dubbed, “The New Faces in Cabinet.”
During the interview, Minister Nisbett explained the deliberations that took place when he was initially offered the post of AG, and the reasons for accepting the responsibilities of the accompanying Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs. Since taking up the position on February 7, 2010, the new Cabinet member said he is prepared to tackle major challenges.
“One would want to deal with the institutional strengthening of the Attorney General’s Chambers and also other areas of the Ministry in order to “¦ bring the manpower levels up to what is required in order to function in an efficient and a very quick manner,” he stated.
In doing so, the Attorney General explained that the process of giving legal advice to the Government and the workings of the justice system will be positively impacted.
The new Federal Minister, who was re-elected as the representative for Constituency 11 in Nevis, said he also intends to work on matters regarding the relationship between the sister islands.
“One of the things that come to mind is the issue of the devolution of authority,” AG Nisbett stressed, noting that legislative authority for the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) in critical matters such as education, labour, welfare and health has been outlined in a White Paper.
“Those matters in the Constitution which the NIA has exclusive administrative responsibility for. They “¦ want to transfer those matters into what we call “specified matters” under the Constitution so that the NIA Legislature now has total competence over, and they can make legislation in respect to these areas,” he stated.
Meanwhile, residents that weighed in on the selection of the Honourable Patrice Nisbett as AG on the radio programme had high praise for the choice.
“Nevis is part of the Federation and I think it’s good that somebody from Nevis can be part of the Federal Cabinet and be able to speak on Nevis’ behalf and be part of what is going on,” said Diana. Christine described the move as “brilliant” and added that “the Prime Minister is trying to get the message across that “¦ he is trying to get the two islands to be close, so that the people can work together and the two can be united.”
A young woman from Nevis chimed in and stressed that the AG’s presence will add continuity to the subjects arising from the regular discussions of the joint Cabinets from St. Kitts and from Nevis.
“I respect his legal knowledge and the fact that he works very hard. “¦ He has continued to strive over the past 15 years and I am very proud of him,” she concluded.
Honourable Patrice Nisbett was first elected to the National Assembly in 1995 and has served three consecutive terms as the representative for St. James Windward and St. Thomas Lowland, in Nevis. In 2004, he was appointed Deputy Speaker of the Federal Parliament.
Since AG Nisbett now will sit on the Government benches in the Federal Parliament, a new Deputy Speaker will be identified at a future sitting.