“Nothing changes” – says new Senior Counsel, Anthony Vieira

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“Nothing changes” – says new Senior Counsel, Anthony Vieira

Independent Senator Anthony Vieira, SC, says being elevated to the status of senior counsel would not change his functions as an independent.

In fact, he said in an interview with the Newsday: “Nothing changes. My impartiality and integrity are still intact.

Vieira made the comment following statements by Opposition MP Dr Roodal Moonilal, who questioned his impartiality now that he has been “gifted” silk as an attorney.

He told the media house: “I did not beg for this. I did not pay for this. I am not indebted to anybody. I simply applied. They could have said yea or nay.”

Vieira said he favours neither the government or the opposition when it comes to his role and function in the Senate.

“When legislation comes before me, I look at the legislation critically. If the legislation is good, I support it. If the legislation is not so good, but it can be salvaged, my job is not to shoot it down. My job is to salvage it, as I have done in the past, during committee stages, offering suggestions for amendments.

“On the Independent bench we have been able to get some modification, and if we don’t get modification, we vote against the legislation.”

Vieira added: “This is not a gift. This is hard-won, after many years toiling in the legal profession. I am regarded as an expert in the legal profession, at least in three areas – intellectual property, alternative dispute resolution and aviation law.”

“As a member of a noble profession, it is a great honour to receive this appointment, which I accept with pride and humility.

“As for independence, my decisions have always been and will remain driven by reason, ethics, and as dictated by my conscience.”