Friday, June 08, 2007

Court Division in BVI Approved by OECS

Last week the heads of government of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States have approved the establishment of a commercial division of the OECS Supreme Court in the British Virgin Islands. Clyde Lettsome, permanent secretary in the Chief Minister's Office, has reported this week the results of the 45th OECS Authority meeting that he attended from May 23 to 25 in Grenada. He participated in this meeting together with Najan Christopher, the assistant secretary for external affairs with the BVI International Affairs Secretariat.

At this meeting the heads of OECS states discussed, among other agenda items, setting up the court in the British Virgin Islands by the end of September. The secretary said that the heads unanimously approved and supported the establishment of this Commercial Division in the BVI. Lettsome also noted that the commercial court is of great significance to the territory, and actually is one of the most important developments from last week's OECS meeting.

Lettsome also mentioned a concern echoed by the various OECS heads regarding the criteria for appointing Queen's Counsels in different jurisdictions.

Other issues of significance to the BVI, by words of Lettsome, were an OECS transport initiative, which is of particular relevance to the territory in light of trade; the current salaries review for staff and its implications for each member-state's financial contribution to the organization, and a presentation by the secretary of state from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico on the ongoing relationship between Puerto Rico and the OECS.

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