BVI News

BVI laws need to be made available online, says judge

Pointing out that it is the 21st century, Justice Vicki Ann Ellis has called on the Smith-led administration to place the territory’s laws online.

Justice Ellis made the call during the recent opening of the new law year.

She said having local laws in an online portal facilitates ease of access and assists everyone involved.

“It is 2018 and we still have not managed to have the laws of the territory available electronically,” she said.

“Therefore, [we] again call for this to be addressed as a matter of priority not only for the judiciary and the members of the legal profession but for members of the public who have the right to access the laws which govern them.”

“If we are to fully engage in the e-filing process which will soon descend on us, from what I understand, … later on this year, it seems wholly inconsistent that we are to be headstrong with hard copies of the laws which are to be applied.”

Meanwhile, Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Janice Pereira, said as the world continues on its technological path, courtrooms across the region should get up to speed in that area.

She said a country’s ease of doing business is also ranked based on the performance of the judiciary and its ability to decide disputes in a timely manner.

Recently, Junior Minister for Trade Marlon Penn said the territory was one of the lowest rated Caribbean countries as it relates to the ease of doing business.

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6 Comments

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  1. Thank you says:

    Ignorance is no excuse for the law yet we do so little to prepare/inform our children and loved ones.

  2. Yes says:

    Yes they do. Its ridiculous that laws are not readily available online and while we are it, we need Landlord-Tenant Laws. Oh, a consumer rights bill.

  3. Retired says:

    During the VIP administrations all the BVI laws were available to the public in books and booklets at the Public Library behind the Rite-Way on Flemming street. The librarians did a very good job of annually updating the BVI laws after each successive sitting of the Legislative Council. That library closed during the early years of NDP administration and the public has been in the legal dark since then. Why?

  4. So True says:

    I commend the judge for raising this important issue, as it will be a win-win situation for members of both the judiciary and the public.

    I also ask the question the blogger called ‘Retired’ posed above – why is it taking so long for us to have a library in the centre of the Territory? Bad habits are gathered by unseen degrees, and the general public should not be held hostage for the numerous parents who used this facility as a free after school/vacation babysitting centre.

    We all know the informed citizens thrive when information is readily available, and that reading is fundamental. Let us strive to prioritize these two outstanding matters. To the powers that be – please don’t keep us in the dark any longer. Knowledge is power.

  5. Rubber Duck says:

    Indeed , if only so people can have a laugh at some of the worst legal drafting on the planet.

  6. Mankind says:

    How are you supposed to know your rights when accused or arrested etc.where can these be found.

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