BVI News

Former Attorney General urges local lawyers to volunteer more

“I am not advocating that we become a charitable institution but I am advocating that we do more in that role that we have as lawyers to the public.” — Dancia Penn-Sallah

Queen’s Counsel and former Attorney General Dancia Penn-Sallah has called on lawyers operating in the British Virgin Islands to volunteer more of their time to the communities where they live.

Penn-Sallah made the call while delivering an address at the ceremony to mark the start of the New Law Year on Monday.

She said: “The strength of our bar is its diversity. We are from all over the world and we are from all different kinds of legal systems. I believe that this is a great strength; an asset. I would like us to do more of an outreach for the many needs in this community.”

“There is a lot of injustice, there is a lot of people who come through the legal system. Some don’t even go through the court because they can’t get there and I am not advocating that we become a charitable institution, but I am advocating that we do more in that role that we have as lawyers to the public.”


The veteran attorney also called on her colleagues to mentor youngsters and up-and-coming lawyers.

“We can do a great deal in mediation. That is something I am strongly committed to, and I would like to urge especially the younger lawyers at the bar to embrace the opportunities,” Dancia Penn Sallah said.

“I think as a profession, we can do a great deal to help promote access to justice, help the court with its limited resources and help to preserve relationships by helping members of the public to understand and to buy into the importance of mediation and we can continue to earn our income even in that process,” she added.

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  1. hmmmm says:

    Lets start with you and your sister. well sah

    Like 19
  2. VIP says:

    Her political career is dead ship already sailed

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  3. Jane says:

    Great idea Dancia.

    Keep in mind it is difficult for foreigners to be seen to be volunteering or to set up these types of organisations because it can make local people look bad because they havent done so themselves. In turn, that can create problems for the well-meaning foreigner so people don’t like to put their heads above the parapet.

    Therefore, you need to find a handful of other local, senior attorneys to drive this forward.

    Like 11
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  4. BVI says:


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  5. 2 Grand says:

    Who remembers the famous phrase of the learned lady’

    Like 7
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  6. lol says:

    She need to volunteer and finish the cases infront of her from holding up her paying clients…

    Like 10
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  7. patriotic says:

    lawyers in the bvi long buried that word “PRO BONO” WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY OF WANTS.

    Like 5
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  8. observing says:

    i was once told that Mrs. Penn-Salah is very good at saying what needs to be done, but would be far from doing it herself. what i was told kind’ve put things into perspective when one considers that she was the Attorney General, the Deputy Governor, and the Deputy Premier, and made no visible effort to change what she is has been talking about….outdated laws. i mean…sigh…

  9. Ausar says:

    “Patriotic”, you’ve said it all in a mouthful!

    Sadly,the only type of “volunteerism” I see going forward for this institution of learned professionals, is the ownership of one’s land!

  10. Bvi says:

    Local lawyers are already catching hell in the BVI. Those in public service are not respected and 90% of those in private bundling paper for years or there for poppy show paper pushing.
    Start a practice and the claws of senior lawyers come out. Dpp say they short staff, maybe it should give locals part time work.

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  11. Hmm says:

    Ms Dancia, I applaud you for raising your voice, but when Tom, Dick and Harry, Sarah, Sally and Sue wants their big house, with their big cars, their fancy friends, and exotic trips… Which one of them thinking about Pro Bono work?? Not one. None. None go out to be a lawyer to actually HELP ppl, no one goes out to talk to their peers about starting a pro Bono clinic a that at least takes on 5 cases per month…. No one. None. Talking to deaf ppl…. Yourself perhaps? Life is so hard for some ppl but as long we go to church and don’t murder anyone the gates to heaven is open for us right? Wasted time. NEXT!

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