Peter Kirby is a retired member of the district law association, and he says the SNC-Lavalin affair exposes a weakness in the Canadian system, which is to say the combination of the minister responsible for justice with the attorney general's office.
"Certainly, it's impossible, for any ordinary person to understand how you could keep those two hats separate, when you're in a hot, dynamic, politically-charged environment dealing with a very serious issue," said Kirby.
"Some commentators are saying when people went to speak to the former attorney general, they were talking to her as the justice minister. She seems to be saying they were talking to her, when she was wearing her attorney general hat. So, some people are saying there was just mass confusion," Kirby added.
Federal Justice Minister David Lametti is now talking about separating the role of minister from the attorney general's duties. Wilson-Raybould has also suggested studying the idea.
In recent weeks, the former attorney general -- Jody Wilson-Raybould -- has said she was the target of political interference, when making decisions about how to proceed with the prosecution of the engineering firm.
In her testimony last week, Wilson-Raybould went a step further.
"I will say that it is appropriate for cabinet or colleagues to draw to the attorney general’s attention what they see as important policy considerations that are relevant to decisions about how a prosecution will proceed," she said. "What is not appropriate is pressing the attorney general on matters that she or he cannot take into account, such as partisan political considerations, continuing to urge the attorney general to take her or his mind four months after the decision has been made or suggesting that a collision with the prime minister on these matters should be avoided."
An emergency debate was held last week by MPs on the issue.
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