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Opinion

Brexit wrangling proves that separating the AG and justice minister is no panacea

By Christopher Rusko      

Legal decisions are not necessarily better than political ones for the big problems governments face.

Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti is among those who have floated the idea of splitting the two roles, only one of which is intended to be political. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

As the SNC-Lavalin affair continues to roil Canadian politics, the combined role of the attorney general and the minister of justice has come under scrutiny. Under the current arrangement, the justice portfolio requires the incumbent to act in a political capacity—as a member of the cabinet responsible for government policy—and as the government’s chief legal adviser. Several commentators have weighed in to say that this puts the attorney general in an impossible conflict of interest.

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