19 Jan 2006

Marshalls attorney general positions office for change

2:31 pm on 19 January 2006

Within days of being appointed attorney general for the Marshall Islands, Tongan lawyer Posesi Bloomfield is already positioning his office for change.

Mr Bloomfield is starting his tenure as the government's chief legal official with the innovative approach of talking to as many government department heads, elected leaders, business people and non government

organization leaders as he can.

He wants to find out what they want from the Attorney General's office and to identify gaps in laws.

Mr Bloomfield said the office needed to go back to serving and being more open to the public.

The Attorney General's office and the Ministry of Justice have been the target of criticism from the business community and the media for lack of timely prosecution of

criminal cases.

In addition, immigration - which falls under the authority of the Attorney General's office - has developed into a major public concern because of the government's apparent inability to enforce immigration rules by deporting Chinese nationals who over-stay visitor visas and break numerous labor, immigration and tax laws.