“The law is clear, a barrister or solicitor appointed by the AG under Section 13 of the CoI Act should be admitted to practice law in the Virgin Islands, and no person should use any names, title or description which implies that he or she is entitled to act as a legal practitioner in the Virgin Islands unless his or her name is registered on the Roll maintained by the Register of the High Court under Section 10 of the Legal Professions Act,…”. “…it is my position that Bilal Rawat, Andrew King, Rhea Harrikisoon should be admitted to practice in the Virgin Islands if they are to perform duties as counsel and solicitors to the CoI…” “I do not intend to object to their applications when they come for hearing.”
Extracts from letter penned by the British appointed Attorney General (AG) Hon. Dawn Smith on the issue of the illegal practice law in the BVI
The British appointed Attorney General (AG) Hon. Dawn Smith recently admitted that although a barrister or solicitor appointed by the AG under Section 13 of the CoI Act should be admitted to practice law in the Virgin Islands, not one of the 3 British attorneys representing the CoI had in fact applied or were admitted to practice law in the BVI. No agent of the crown can boldly quote the BVI law and then seek to ignore an action that breaches the law.
In the BVI, the AG has refused to take action against her UK appointed lawyers to the Commissioner of Inquiry (CoI). The breach of the law is indisputable, but a blind eye is turned to the rule of law.
The British appointed Attorney General (AG) Hon. Dawn Smith has created history in the BVI and raised eyebrows within the region by redefining how laws are to be applied and to whom they apply.
Under normal circumstances an appointed chief legal counsel to a Westminster styled government would have come under scrutiny from the established legal fraternity. Her resignation would have made news, sadly this is not how the tale ends.
Can the British appointed Attorney General (AG) Hon. Dawn Smith continue to serve her BVI people? The responsibility of a citizen is indisputable. As part of the Caribbean civilization, we are positioned to ensure, we distinguish ourselves from past colonial authoritarian ideals that once engulfed the globe.
This scenario of citizen loyalty has played itself out so often in colonial days. We understand why the plantation owner made the distinction of a house slave and a field slave. The house slave had all the trappings of endearment to stay close to the owner. While the bulk of those who toiled in the fields were managed. This issue has shifted the balance of fairness within BVI and yet we remain silent.
In the BVI, we cannot serve two masters. When expats are given a free pass despite the public notification of a crime committed what message does it send to our youth?
The essence of the decision of the British appointed Attorney General (AG) Hon. Dawn Smith to ignore the criminal act perpetrated by attorneys for the Commission of Inquiry has further threatened the fabric of the rule of law. The ability of the office of the AG to be insulated from criticism and not to be publicly chastised speaks to who we are.
The people of BVI have been treated with contempt by the actions taken by the British appointed Attorney General (AG) Hon. Dawn Smith.
The rule of law as authored by the British is what defined their history. The tenets of good governance is what the CoI suppose to represent. This glaring act has therefore corrupted the CoI from the outset
The recent roll out of the CoI and its intent has blurred the lines of OT engagement and repositioned the role of the British appointed agents . It appears as if the new dispensation of British rule has taken a turn for the worse.