Chapter IV – The Cabinet (Parts III & IV)

Extracted from the Constitution of Kiribati

Part III – The Cabinet

The Cabinet

40. There shall be a Cabinet which shall consist of the Beretitenti, the Kauoman-ni-Beretitenti and not more than 10 other Ministers, and the Attorney-General.

The Ministers

41.          (1) The Beretitenti shall, as soon as practicable after assuming that office, appoint the Ministers from among members of the Maneaba ni Maungatabu.

(2) If occasion arises for making an appointment to the office of a Minister while the Maneaba is dissolved under section 78(2) of this Constitution, the Beretitenti may appoint as a Minister a person who was a member of the Maneaba before the dissolution.

(3) A Minister shall ceases to be a Minister if-

(a) he resigns his office, by notice in writing addressed to the Beretitenti,

(b) he ceases to be a member of the Maneaba otherwise than by reason of a dissolution of the Maneaba;

(c) he is removed from office by the Beretitenti;

(d) any person assumes the office of Beretitenti; or

(e) the Beretitenti cease to hold office by virtue of paragraph (b) or (c) of section 33 (2) of this Constitution.

Attorney General

42.          (1) There shall be an Attorney-General for Kiribati who shall be the principal legal adviser to the Government.

(2) The Attorney-General shall be appointed, and may be removed from office, by the Beretitenti.

(3) No person shall be qualified hold or to act in the office of Attorney-General unless he is qualified to practice in Kiribati as an advocate in the High Court.

(4) The Attorney-General shall have power in any case in which he considers it desirable to do so-

(a) to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court established for Kiribati in respect of any offence alleged to have been committed by that person;

(b) to intervene in, take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that have been instituted or undertaken by any other person or authority; and

(c) to discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by himself or any other person or authority.

(5) The Attorney-General shall exercise all such functions as may be from time to time conferred upon him by law.

(6) The powers of the Attorney-General under subsection (4) or (5) of this section may be exercised by him in person or by officers subordinate to him acting in accordance with his general or specific instructions.

(7) Subject to the provisions of the preceding subsection, the powers conferred on the Attorney-General by subsection (4) (b) and (c) of this section shall be vested in him to the exclusion of any other person or authority:

Provided that where any other person or authority has instituted criminal proceedings, nothing in this subsection shall prevent the withdrawal of those proceedings by or at the instance of that person or authority and with the leave of the court.

(8) In the exercise of the functions vested in him by subsection (4) of this section the Attorney-General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

(9) For the purpose of this section, any appeal from any judgment in any criminal proceedings before any court, any case stated or question of law reserved for the purpose of any such proceedings, to any other court shall be deemed to be part of those proceedings:

Provided that the power conferred on the Attorney-General by subsection (4) (c) of this section shall not be exercised in relation to any appeal by a person convicted in any criminal proceedings or to any case stated or question of law reserved at the instance of such a person.

Oath of Cabinet members

43. A member of the Cabinet shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, take and subscribe before the Chief Justice an oath in the form set out in Schedule 1 to this Constitution.

Secretary to the Cabinet

44.          (1) There shall be a Secretary to the Cabinet whose office shall be a public office.

(2) The Secretary to the Cabinet shall be responsible, in accordance with such instructions as may be given to him by the Cabinet, for arranging the business for, and keeping the minutes, of the Cabinet, and for conveying the decision of the Cabinet to the appropriate person or authority, and shall have such other functions as the Cabinet or the Beretitenti may direct.

Part IV- Executive Functions

Execution authority of Kiribati

45. The executive authority of Kiribati shall vest in the Cabinet, which shall be collectively responsible to the Maneaba ni Maungatabu for the executive functions of the Government.

Functions of Beretintenti

46.          (1) In the exercise of any function conferred upon him by this Constitution or any other law the Beretitenti shall, unless it is otherwise provided, act in his own deliberate judgment and shall not be obliged to follow the advice tendered by any other person or authority.

(2) Where the Beretitenti is by this Constitution or any other law directed to exercise any function in accordance with the advice of any person or authority, he may, before acting in accordance with such advice, once refer it back for reconsideration by the person or authority concerned.

Functions of Ministers

47.          (1) The Kauoman-ni-Beretitenti and each of the other Ministers shall be responsible for such business of the Government (including the administration of any department) as the Beretitenti may assign to him.

(2) Where any Minister has been charged with responsibility for the administration of any department of government, he shall exercise direction and control over that department and, subject to such direction and control, the department shall be under the supervision of the Secretary to the department, whose office shall be a public office.

Proceedings in Cabinet

48.          (1) The Cabinet shall be summoned by the Beretitenti.

(2) The Beretitenti shall, so far as is practicable, attend and preside at all meetings of the Cabinet.

(3) No business except that of adjournment shall be transacted in the Cabinet if objection is taken by any member present that there are less than 5 members present.

(4) Subject to the provisions of the preceding subsection, the Cabinet shall not be disqualified for the transaction of business by reason of any vacancy in its membership, and any proceedings of the Cabinet shall be valid notwithstanding that some person who was not entitled to do so took part in those proceedings.

(5) The Beretitenti shall decide what business shall be considered at any meeting of the Cabinet.

(6) The person presiding in the Cabinet may summon any person to a meeting of the Cabinet, notwithstanding that that person is not a member of the Cabinet, when in the opinion of the person presiding the business before the Cabinet makes the presence of that person desirable.