BVI News

No jury trials for months now! Fraser says non-Belongers should not become jurors

Opposition legislator Julian Fraser

By Kamal Haynes, BVI News Staff

While asserting that non-Belongers should not serve on any jury panel in the British Virgin Islands, Opposition legislator Julian Fraser has raised concern that there have not been any jury trials in the territory for months now.

Speaking in House of Assembly recently, Fraser said the decision to halt jury trials locally was made following the discovery of ‘flaws’ in the current jury selection process.

“It has been brought to my attention that there have been no jury trials in this territory since July 2019. And when I asked the Director of Public Prosecution regarding the issue, I was told that the Jury Act advocates that anyone who has been a resident in the BVI – i.e. an alien for over 10 years – is eligible to serve as a juror. Additionally, persons between the ages of 21 to 60 are eligible to sit as jurors on jury trials in the BVI,” Fraser stated.

He said jurors were instead being selected from the territory’s voters’ list — a selection process that is allowed under the BVI’s Jury Act of 2009

Excerpt from the Virgin Islands Jury Act, 2009.

“What they are saying is because the names are being drawn from the voters’ list, there is something wrong with the list and therefore there should be no jury trials until the law or list is amended. When I asked the Registrar about the matter, the Registrar stated that was a decision of the court, and the decision (that there will be no jury trials) is on record,” Fraser said.

Only Belonger jurors should be allowed

He, however, expressed his belief that persons who are not Belongers should not qualify to become a juror in the BVI.

“If you are not a citizen of a country you should not be a juror, I couldn’t care how long you live here. If you are not a Belonger you should not be a juror. There was a time when such was appropriate, but not today,” Fraser said.

The senior Opposition member said the Registrar told him that a document entitled Jury Bill 2019 was drafted on July 5, 2019. However, the contents and status of that Bill are not yet known.

Fraser, therefore, said he believes the Bill should be brought to the House of Assembly as a matter of urgency to address the issue of no jury trials in the territory.

Judge ordered for new list

Back in October 2019, Justice Ann-Marie Smith after citing several defects to the current register, ordered that the High Court’s list of potential jurors from across the territory be quashed and a new list drafted.

A new jury list is expected to be completed by January 17.

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36 Comments

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  1. The real deal says:

    Wow! fraser ain’t playing at all…He is a real serious guy…We need more like him in the house of assembly to represent us…He is for real

    Like 14
    Dislike 25
  2. Frazer says:

    Remains racist and biased towards foreigners into 2020 – well done Liberator!

    Like 35
    Dislike 29
  3. WOW says:

    All this man does is complain.

    Like 29
    Dislike 9
  4. he is on to something says:

    Those people may take bribes and go back to their country with fat purses/pockets

    Like 16
    Dislike 29
    • @he is on to something says:

      SO belongers and BVIslanders dont take the same bribe?! Stinking thinking!!! It’s not a person’s nationality, it’s their character. go look how many of BVIslanders were bribed and stay here with their fat purses/pockets? How many perverted justice because they were a distant relative or they had a mutual relative or a friend of a relative who ask them to vote one way or another? It’s a question.

      Like 48
      Dislike 6
    • the watcher says:

      I agree…we need to keep the bribe money here!!

      Like 13
      Dislike 1
  5. Rule of Law - FOLLOW WHAT IS THE LAW says:

    Fraser, that’s not the point!!! The point it that nobody is above the law!! The law said that non-belongers living in the VI for 10 years or more can be selected as jurors. If you didn’t like that then change the law, but don’t NOT follow it until the law is changed. It is not an unjust law and in fact should NOT be changed because the principle of jurorship and justice says that the juror must be representative of the accused’s PEERS.a jury of only Belongers and BVIslanders cannot be said to be a foreign accused’s “peers”. Dangerous precedents are being set by that officer resisting WHAT IS CLEAR LAW. GOD NAH SLEEP

    Like 36
    Dislike 3
  6. ACT ON WHAT IS THE LAW NOW says:

    The registrar is the one holding up the jury trials, not anyone else. The law is in place. She just need to prepare the list and send it out. The judge was VERY clear in her order in OCTOBER 2019 and the Judge was also RIGHT!!

    Like 21
  7. LAW AND ORDER says:

    before Julian Fraser open his mouth he need to go and check the law and legal philosophical thinking behind jury rules and why the Jury Act was drafted in that manner and think on the BVI circumstances of being a small community of related persons. You think the legislators were smoking a few years ago? They knew what they were doing. But you see this Belonger/BVIslander thing…it killing this country. Have eyes that see beyond now!!!

    Like 34
    Dislike 3
  8. Chosen says:

    Fraser and all those who agreed to some of his hatred comments towards other humans believed God only created bvi national but noooooo we all are God’s creation repent and ask God for forgiveness.

    Like 15
    Dislike 5
  9. Bone says:

    Only Belongers have the wisdom, moral standing and education to seve as jurors.

    Like 2
    Dislike 17
    • CW says:

      STRUPE COMMENT

      In making this comment you show your hateful rhetoric against those from other shores: that means YOU, A NATIVE, can’t be trusted to be a fair juror towards immigrants. It also means YOU, A NATIVE, can’t be trusted to hand out justice to other locals. You have just shown in your own comment why your own suggestion WONT WORK. Great example to the youth on WHAT NOT TO DO.

      TYPICAL STRUPE THINKING

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
    • @ bone says:

      Honestly… U need to be thrown to a d@g that eats its @wn shht ..You talk about wisdom??.. I guess you didn’t get none cause that comment is utterly foolish… You talk about moral standards.. I bet you are a criminal hoping that your cousin will pity you and say you are innocent…Don’t you ever disrespect people like that ,when you give your self the nickname bone.. You probably just a phk to everyone and everything around you.. Good name choice. Go b&n3 yoself.

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
  10. Chosen says:

    Fraser and all who agreed with him and his worthless and hateful comments believed that God didn’t create others he only created people from the bvi .

    Like 7
    Dislike 6
  11. say i say so says:

    GET THIS IN ARYO HEADS…FRAZER IS HERE TO DO A JOB..HE IS NOT HERE TO BE LOVED BY EVERY ONE

    Like 8
    Dislike 18
    • Soooo Agree says:

      This man is on his job and if his people are pleased… who cares what naysayers say. At the end of the day… everyone has their selfish agendas that’s human nature.

  12. liberation time says:

    The same fraser ayo here hating on is the same man who give up his career {over 20 plus years} to help make the BVI a bit more comfortable so all of you could be here making money. The same man went against his own and allowed digicel and flow to be cellphone providers so that all of you could afford to call your loved ones back home at cheaper rates. SO DON’T BE UNGRATEFUL TO HIM !!!

    Like 2
    Dislike 22
    • Rubber Duck says:

      When you use the two greatest rip off companies in the country as examples of the best thing this man has done you are desperately scraping the barrel.

  13. Tell me says:

    Can we go into another country – be honest and be a juror just like that? The answer is “No”. So tell me why it should be different here in the BVI. Come on man, let’s be fair.

    Like 6
    Dislike 9
    • @Tell Me says:

      Because other countries have REASONABLE PATHS to citizenship. Look ar St. Kitts and Antigua.

      Like 18
      Dislike 3
      • @ @Tell Me says:

        What is sooo wrong with your country that you sooo desire to live in the BVI and continually broadcast your issues about BVI immigration policies on the web? Is your country sooo bad off that you do not wish to return home? I believe it’s all about the US dollar.

    • Lodger says:

      They have to be here ten years to qualify there are similar rules in other countries.. As of last month we have a huge increase in the jury pool, so there is no reason not to hold trials.

  14. Haha says:

    There is nothing wrong with having only BVislanders and Belongers as the jury pool. We have more belongers than BVislanders here that represent every Caribbean Island and the US and Europe, that’s a wide selection in the jury pool. We don’t need to include anybody else in my opinion. If they do the little change they would receive as compensation should be forfeit.

    Like 6
    Dislike 6
  15. retire Mr. Fraser says:

    I believe that Julian Fraser has gone beyond his useful life in representing people and this country. He doesn’t understand the problems that the judicial services face with dealing with this issue particularly in a country where everyone is related in one way or another. He is also using the term “an alien” which is very derogatory. If a person is resident in the BVI for 10 or more years and is of good character why can’t they sit on the jury? is it only those of us who are from her can stand for justice?

    Like 17
    Dislike 3
  16. trump mentality says:

    Isn’t this a very sad way of thinking! We live in a world where people are being murdered/outcasted due to segregation/hate based on beliefs, cultural differences or the colour of their skin ( a battle we as a Caribbean people know so well). How is deeming a contributing member of society, who has faithfully served their years, as unfit to cast judgement due to their birthplace not an act of prejudice??????? A jury should be made up of people who contribute to their society, pay their taxes, work and are very much apart of the healthy functioning of the community they live in, therefore would have a say about the crime/wrong-doings of the same community they are helping to develop. A jury should also be made up of people of different backgrounds and opinions so that when a verdict has been given it is as unbiased as possible, making the judgement as fair as possible. Fraser’s hope for a lack of inclusion makes for a very biased legal system.

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  17. Zzz says:

    Dis ole man need to get some more fibre in his diet. Always irritable! Rarely cogent or useful.

    If he doesn’t think that a person who dedicates and invests a decade of their adult working life to a community is part of that community, he doesn’t understand the meaning of the word community. The sooner politicians around the world stop pretending that immigrants who have come to fulfil empty or new positions and grow the economy are some form of burden and not a golden asset to be nurtured, the sooner the people can prosper.

    Bigger questions he might insist on are
    Why have we not built proper schools with world class teaching faculties?
    Why was NHI so quickly drained and did it have anything to do with the vested interests of those in government and family monopolies, by an chance?

  18. son of the soil says:

    Why is it every time a tolian opens his mouth to defend his country everybody vex???

    Like 3
    Dislike 6
  19. bunch ah cowards says:

    I agree with frazer..Every one else is turning a blind eye and afraid to open their mouths… Some are trying to play mr nice guy while being scared to offend

    Like 1
    Dislike 5
  20. BVIslander First says:

    As a born BVIslander I fully support Mr. Fraser’s view on this. No person not deemed to belong to the BVI should serve as jurors. No exceptions.

    Like 1
    Dislike 5
  21. Jane says:

    on the one hand, expats are told we dont integrate, we send all our money home and we only mix with our ‘own’ but on the other the usual means of integration: investment in businesses property, sending our kids to public schools and involvement in civic life (eg voting, jury duty) are denied to us. It feels like the game is fixed to ensure that the tensions between the Belonger and Non Belonger communities will never cease. This parochial and xenophobic nationalism doesnt appear to enable the strengthening of BVI culture and pride but instead enables bad minded people (both local and outsider) to personally benefit through the corruption and discrimination that the status quo feeds. Mr Fraser appears to offer little except hate and ire for his fellow human beings. He would do well to remember that only love can drive out the darkness.

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  22. CW says:

    STRUPE COMMENT

    In making this comment you show your hateful rhetoric against those from other shores: that means YOU, A NATIVE, can’t be trusted to be a fair juror towards immigrants. It also means YOU, A NATIVE, can’t be trusted to hand out justice to other locals. You have just shown in your own comment why your own suggestion WONT WORK. Great example to the youth on WHAT NOT TO DO.

    TYPICAL STRUPE THINKING

  23. Joseph says:

    Hatred of “aliens” from south of Anegada, by B.V. Islanders, has been around for generations; way before the 1940’s.

    It is virtually genetic. Can’t change hate.

  24. Ralph says:

    Fraser should eat a bowl of d***.

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