Empirical study on separation of AG-PP roles continues in UK, says Azalina

KUALA LUMPUR: The first phase of the empirical study on the separation of roles of the attorney general (AG) and public prosecutor (PP) will conclude after the research by the Special Task Force on Comparative Studies in the United Kingdom (UK) is completed, says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) said the UK was the last country where Malaysia conducted an empirical study based on evidence-based research, after Canada and Australia.

She said that the special team had completed empirical studies in Canada from May 5 to 10 and in Australia from June 2 to 6.

"The government is making preparations to schedule a visit with the UK, and it will be announced once it is finalised,” she said during the Special Chamber session in Parliament on Monday (June 24).

On Oct 9 last year, Azalina said that the separation of the roles of AG and public prosecutor would be done in phases, taking into account the complexity and challenges of its implementation.

She said that during the first phase, the Special Task Force on Comparative Studies would conduct research on several countries to examine and formulate the most suitable model for Malaysia.

In the second phase, Azalina said the Special Technical Task Force would comprehensively examine the legal, staffing and financial implications before preparing an interim report for Cabinet consideration.

In the third phase, a joint engagement session will be held with the Sabah and Sarawak governments as well as other stakeholders, including enforcement agencies.

In addition, Azalina said a six-month scientific study, based on a social science perspective on the separation of roles between the AG and the public prosecutor, is currently underway.

For that purpose, she said the government would collaborate with Universiti Malaya to conduct a scientific study involving stakeholders, including the general public, law enforcement agencies, experts, and state governments.

According to Azalina, the study would also involve gathering and analysing data and information from stakeholders through various research methods, including focus group discussions.

"The empirical and scientific study that has been conducted in phases demonstrates the government’s commitment to identifying the best model for Malaysia, which will be brought before the Cabinet for consideration.

"It is hoped that this effort will enhance the people’s confidence, trust, and support for the government’s initiatives to reform legal institutions in our country,” she said.

The Dewan Rakyat sitting continues tomorrow. - Bernama

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