The Legal Unit has the responsibility for dealing with legal issues and concerns of the Ministry. It works closely with the Attorney General’s Department which has overall responsibility for the legal affairs of the Government.
As the Legal Adviser to the Ministry, the Unit’s scope of operations cuts across all Departments and Units within the Ministry. The present portfolio covers the following areas:
Interpretation and Analysis
- Advising on international law issues, interpretation of treaties, national laws and subsidiary legislation;
- Analysing proposals submitted by other governments;
- Analysing the legal implications arising from negotiations and deliberations in international and regional organizations and conferences /Committees
- Drafting and coordinating the preparation of Agreements/Treaties as well as Instruments of Ratification, Accession, Denunciation, Withdrawal; Reservations;
- Drafting of policy and position Papers on behalf of the Government for presentation at meetings as well as international and regional conferences;
- Reviewing and amending draft legal instruments;
- Preparing drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel to effect any enabling legislation to implement any Treaty obligations incurred by Jamaica under any regional and international instruments;
- Drafting Cabinet Submissions and Cabinet Notes
- Drafting/Reviewing the Ministry’s contracts and other legal agreements.
- Drafting Reports to international organizations/bodies.
- Conducting research for the purpose of rendering legal advice to the Ministry;
- Conducting research for the purpose of providing a legal and policy position for negotiating teams and delegations;
- Providing representation on Jamaica’s negotiating teams and various Committees, Task Forces etc. in regional and international fora and submitting reports on such representation;
- Providing representation for the Ministry generally in Jamaica and overseas;
Soliciting of Advice
- Referring legal documents, including draft Treaties and Agreements for the advice of the Attorney General;
Monitoring and Liaising
- Monitoring the implementation of bilateral and multilateral Treaties;
- Monitoring the implementation of decisions of Government bodies where such would have regional and international implications;
- Monitoring the work of international organizations and conference Committees;
- Liaising with government agencies, foreign missions, regional and international organizations to obtain technical advice and information.
- Maintaining a Treaty Registry on behalf of the Government of Jamaica and ensuring the safe custody of legal documents, Treaties and Agreements.
- Any other duties assigned by the Permanent Secretary
SPECIFIC AREAS OF WORK
- Reports to the United Nations Security Council on Cooperation in Combating Terrorism
- Civil Aviation
- Open Skies Agreement
- Air Policy Meetings
- Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries
- International Criminal Court
- Law of the Sea
- Maritime Interdiction
- Marine Policy
- Mutual Legal Assistance
- Organization of American States
- Maintaining Treaty Registry
- United Nations
- Trade Negotiations