BVI News

UPDATE: I’m not appealing court’s decision to be malicious, says Willock

Speaker of the House of Assembly Julian Willock has said he his not being malicious in his decision to appeal the High Court’s ruling that Mark Vanterpool should be sworn in as Fourth District Representative.

He made that claim through is attorneys, Veritas Law, after filing the appeal on Tuesday.

The statement said: “Some may see this case as a deliberate act to prevent Mr Vanterpool from serving the constituents of District Four, nothing is further from the truth.”

“The love and dedication that Mr Vanterpool has for his constituency is undoubted, but the actions of Mr Vanterpool must be tested, tried and proven true by the Court. An appeal against the decision ought not to be viewed as a personal attack on Mr Vanterpool. The acts of Mr Vanterpool have caused great concern and raises important points of law which a Court of competent jurisdiction ought to be allowed to discuss and decide upon. If the decision to appeal is proved right, this would set new ground for countries with similar provisions in their Constitutions and a deeper understanding of our very own Constitution.”

Below is the full statement from Willock’s legal team:

To the residents of the British Virgin Islands, As the public is fully aware Mr Mark H. Vanterpool was successful in his claim, the hearing of which came before the High Court on April 13th, 2019.

The court in its decision on May 2nd, 2019 found favour in Mr Vanterpool’s argument that his resignation was invalid. As a result of this, the Court ordered, among other things, that Mr Vanterpool be sworn in as the Representative of the Fourth District.

As the Honourable Speaker had indicated before, he is prepared to comply with the decision of the Courts. Under section 87 (6) the Court in this instance includes the Court of Appeal which is the final decision maker in matters of this nature.

Having reviewed the judgment of the Honourable Justice Ann-Marie Smith and the relevant law on the subject matter the Speaker has been advised that there are merits and a good prospect of success on an appeal. This matter is of such judicial importance that this is an opportunity for the Country to set a precedent in an area that has gone too long untouched.

A path of guidance must be paved so that future elected members understand the importance of their roles when elected. As such, having reviewed the matter and acting on legal advise, the Speaker has decided to appeal the decision of the Honourable Justice Smith so that the Court of Appeal, which will be the final court to decide the matter pursuant to our Constitution, be given the opportunity to fully ventilate these important issues surrounding our Country’s governance.

Some may see this case as a deliberate act to prevent Mr Vanterpool from serving the constituents of District Four, nothing is further from the truth. The love and dedication that Mr Vanterpool has for his constituency is undoubted, but the actions of Mr Vanterpool must be tested, tried and proven true by the Court. An appeal against the decision ought not to be viewed as a personal attack on Mr Vanterpool.

The acts of Mr Vanterpool have caused great concern and raises important points of law which a Court of competent jurisdiction ought to be allowed to discuss and decide upon. If the decision to appeal is proved right, this would set new ground for countries with similar provisions in their Constitutions and a deeper understanding of our very own Constitution.

We do not anticipate or foresee this matter being prolonged in the Court of Appeal as we have asked the Court to deal with it as a matter of urgency wherever the Court sits.

PREVIOUS PUBLISHED ARTICLE

Speaker of the House of Assembly Julian Willock is appealing Justice Ann-Marie Smith’s High Court ruling that Mark Vanterpool should be sworn in as Fourth District Representative.

The Speaker reportedly filed the appeal on Tuesday, May 7.

Details to come.

In the meantime, the court was made to decide on the matter when Vanterpool filed for judicial review after Willock declined to swear him into the seat.

The controversy started on March 5 after Vanterpool, who won the Fourth District seat, submitted his resignation. After submitting the letter, he was advised that the letter should have been addressed to the Speaker of the House and not the Clerk.

Vanterpool then had a change of heart and requested in a second letter to be sworn-in. However, Willock acknowledged the letter and refused to have Vanterpool sworn-in. Willock said he already accepted the resignation, even after the territory’s Attorney General, as well as the governor, concluded that Vanterpool’s resignation was ‘constitutionally invalid’.

“The purported acceptance of that letter by the Speaker … does not, in the court’s view, create a vacant seat for the Fourth District, especially so in light of the letter from the Clerk of the House of Assembly dated March 13, 2019, and that of Mr Vanterpool’s dated March 14,” the court reasoned.

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46 Comments

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  1. A real tool says:

    Big man with the power allowing this, a real disappointment and waste of time!

    Like 63
    Dislike 5
  2. Wow says:

    I wonder if the seat was won by a VIP who had done the same thing Mark did, if the Speaker would have had this same approach. I very much doubt it.

    Like 42
    Dislike 8
    • Judge says:

      “The acts of Mr Vanterpool have caused great concern and raises important points of law which a Court of competent jurisdiction ought to be allowed to discuss and decide upon.”

      So according to Willock a BVI court is not competent enough a jurisdiction to have the last say in its own affairs. As the saying goes ” the more you live, the more you learn”.

      Like 32
      Dislike 1
    • SMDH says:

      All these comments sound like they are written by the same person.

      Willock has a right to appeal. This whole fiasco is swimming in murky waters. We need clarity. Thats something we are not getting from Mark.

      Like 7
      Dislike 53
      • BS says:

        Not getting from Mark? Wasn’t up to him from the time the matter went to court. The court decided against the speaker and here we are…. swimming in the murky waters of which you speak, AFTER, having been brought to solid ground by our own court.

        Speaker full of !ӣ$

        Like 19
        Dislike 2
      • Hmmm says:

        This comment sound like it was written by a real stupid person

        Like 11
        Dislike 4
      • Humble says:

        That’s the same thing the former administration said. Don’t take heed then… that’s exactly why they out in the cold. Quit while you’re ahead.

      • For Real says:

        SMDH, Willock has no right. It is not his monies he is wasting.

        Like 12
        Dislike 3
      • for real says:

        You got to be retarded. Clearer than the AG, the Governor, and the Courts. For real. You need not post bro.

  3. Reply says:

    At the risk of repeating myself from elsewhere, I think this development is quite unfortunate and outrageous.

    On what grounds does this guy have to appeal Justice Ann-Marie Smith’s High Court ruling? I cannot envision any. He is being intransigent.

    I don’t know who the speaker thinks he is, but he needs to have his wings clipped, and fast. He is in for a rude awakening.

    I cannot imagine the appeals court would rule any differently than the High Court. Reason being, the fundamental facts of the case remains unchanged. This appeal in all probability will fail.

    Those who are encouraging him to go down this road are doing this country a great disservice, because what the speaker is doing is showing disregard and disrespect to the Governor, the Attorney General, the High Court, the rule of law, and to average BVI Islanders who believe this matter should have been wrapped long ago.

    The lawyers and the law firm that is assisting him with this case don’t care about this country or the rule of law. They only care about the money, and will be paid one way or the other even if this case fails, as I think it will.

    Question is: who will pick up the tab for all of this litigation?

    I have said previously that the speaker should foot the entire bill for this faux case, and I hope that turns out to be the case when the dust settles.

    Speaking of who will pay the legal cost, bear in mind that a ruling is still pending from the first case, and yet this guy is proceeding to add to the tab. Outrageous.

    Now, the fact that this case has gone to appeals suggests to me that the VIP either has no control over the speakers actions, or is in agreement with him. Either way, this does not look good for their young government, and will be a stain on everything they hope to accomplish here on out.

    Not being a party ideologue, I always try to find middle ground in these situations, but there is no middle ground here with this outrageous act.

    I had promised myself not to say an ill word towards this new government for 100 days, and allow them time to get their feet wet, but I cannot hold my tongue any longer. The honey moon is over for me. It’s time to speak up, and I will do as needed every opportunity that arises.

    So carry on Mr. Speaker. Let’s see how far you get with your appeal.

    Like 82
    Dislike 8
    • Man about town says:

      I have read your posting I do not agreed with same, but I do respect your opinion. We as a people were guaranteed certain basic rights and the same shall apply to the Honorable Speaker. We also were created by God and guaranteed certain religious beliefs and we abide and respect the rules of law. The learned Judge is not perfect, a matter of facts we are not. However the judge could have been erred in law. Therefore I do support the appeal based on the principles of law and not the two individuals. Let justice prevail my friend and we still be together as one people and one nation. God bless our beloved British Virgin islands.

      Like 5
      Dislike 45
      • this makes us says:

        this will not allow us to be together as one people. This divides us. But they have a lesson to learn. I am just sorry for the new VIPs. I just jumped off their bus. If the speaker is allowed to do this, it could only be under the leaders endorsement. I done. This is now three dissapointments in three months. Never again.

        Like 9
        Dislike 3
    • couple cents says:

      I think the idea is to financially brake Mark, because it is crystal clear the outcome of the appeal is going to be the same as the AG and the High Court. It a vendetta.

  4. mark my words says:

    If they have a rerun in district 4 the people will vote for Mark over Luce again just for spite. The people also wouldn’t want the VIP to get 9 seats.

    Like 49
    Dislike 7
    • Boss says:

      I am telling you that for sure if Andrew don’t stop this nonsense He and the VIP team not going make it back in again come the next voting cycle.

      Further to that if we have to go back to the poles in a bi-election for ANYbody belonging to the VIP – we voting in the other guy JUST for spite for what’s going on here.

      The VIP has proven in less than 3 months that they are a set of liars and fraudsters full of vindictiveness and spite.

      Julian for the avoidance of doubt no matter what you say nobody believes you because your actions says otherwise.

      You were l***g from the jump! From your speech in the HOA.

      L**r! That will be your legacy!

      Like 43
      Dislike 7
  5. Wow says:

    Nahhh man this can’t be, Really speaker??, guess you can’t handle defeat lol , hold appeals and it’s gonna be the same decision when brought forth lmao , swear in the man, boy you is something else

    Like 39
    Dislike 4
  6. Well well says:

    What a thing. He is such a diva lol

    Like 36
    Dislike 5
  7. Smh says:

    What a sore loser.

    Like 38
    Dislike 3
  8. Nonsense says:

    Stone cold ignorant waste of tax dollars. Obvious bias by a man that is not capable of doing the honorable thing. Stop wasting our funds and follow the court ruling.

    Like 43
    Dislike 4
  9. Concerned says:

    He just cannot accept the fact that he lost his case. Is the Premier sanctioning this next move? When he loses the appeal, will Willock resign as Speaker?

    Like 47
    Dislike 2
  10. Myo says:

    These actions are strange. There’s more in the morta than the pestle. In time all will be exposed. God is not
    Sleeping,

    Like 32
    Dislike 2
  11. Just my 2 cents says:

    Such a decision is not in the best interest of the Virgin Islands. This is viewed purely as a case of vindictiveness, mischief, egocentrism and blatant disregard for the people of D4.

    Unfortunately, the words of the speaker have no merits. Hope he respects the judgement of the Court of Appeal when the time comes. After all, it cannot be appealed further.

    I fail to see any rationale or basis for the appeal except to frustrate Vanterpool a little while longer, or the fact that some lawyers are getting a big payday. Thats good for them but not the taxpayers. The speaker should be made to fokt the bill.

    I wonder also if there is a hidden beneficiary from this appeal saga. A possible kickback? Who knows.

    Its just sad that our politics is filled with very smallminded individuals and purility. Get ready D4 residents…prepare your petition! Can a class action law suit be filed against ghe speaket for failure to allow representation?

    I think its time for the speaker to vacate that honourable seat. He playing the @$$. If Premier is not careful, this may lead to the demise of the VIP government. Mr Premier, I trust that you will not allow division to emerge (unless you are fueling the malice) and allow common sense to prevail. We were fed the hell up with up the NDP…dont give us the amor to be equally annoyed with VIP. It will be a disgrace. I dont want to join my colleagues into saying ‘What a shame…same old ?s**t, just another jockey.’

    Like 24
    Dislike 2
  12. Dishonerable Speaker says:

    Is this surprising to anyone? Come on people. This is the same n—-b who thought he was pulling shade over the country with V–O. You knew exactly who he is and yet somehow he sits as Speaker. It’s even more ridiculous than Trump being POTUS.

    Like 7
    Dislike 2
  13. sam the man says:

    As I said a number of weeks ago I just knew J—– W—– would be stubborn in eating his rather large slice of humble pie….petulance, pettiness and bitter jealousy appear to be present with this Narcissistic s——r (he seemed an odd choice to begin with) Time wasting and tax payers money down the drain continues….sigh

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  14. What nonesense says:

    What right does this seemingly l*****c have to deprive an ELECTED official of his seat in the HOA. WHY IS ANDREW ALLOWING THIS NONSENSE TO CONTINUE. What’s happening in the BVI?
    The man was ELECTED. The speaker seems BENT ON NULLIFYING the Democratic vote of the people of the 4th district. That is OUTRAGEOUS!

    Like 25
    Dislike 1
  15. ???? says:

    How can a leader of a Country allow this type of behaviour to go on. VIP is going to pay for this big time at the polls come next election. The secret forming Political Party is now 10 strong. So VIP,enjoy your tea and dum bread party.

    Like 20
    Dislike 3
  16. Think about it says:

    Firstly even though Willock is the front man in this case, he has to get the money to pay lawyers etc from the minister of finance which tells me that what is happening is the doings of the Premier. If he didn’t give funds to the speaker the case would have to stop.

    Like 26
    • @Think about it says:

      I agree better yet, I believe it. All I have to say is, with Premier and his speaker, it is the same S**t but they are plopping it in a diffrent toilet. Two waste eating good off the tax payers and gaining a pound a day.

      Like 7
      Dislike 1
  17. Phoenix Rising says:

    Some parables included for higher-order thinking.

    “Fire either burns-out or purifies its object.” Organic intelligence- just keeping it real amongst the multitudes. For how could one truly know heaven if one has never been through hell. Paying it forward.

    “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” Sun Tzu

    More simply put. If you know others and know yourself, in a hundred battles- one need not fuss, the winner will eventually emerge; if you do not know others but know yourself- you win some, you lose some; if you do not know others and do not know yourself, expect defeat every single time.

    IOO, first judgment, seemingly orchestrated by an appointed overseer of the land, the inside baba, and the learned judge- all out of the same box/one group mind relying upon limited constitutional references on the matter, and as such, needed to be challenged. Popular shortcuts in the process may not always pan-out to be the correct approach for long-term solutions.

    However, if we keep getting distracted by the messengers and lose the messages, as the Hon. Fahie would say, interpreted otherwise, other forces are eagerly strategizing for the takeover. For we need be reminded that diamond and gold are found between dirt and stones. Humans are born between urine and feces. And- Christ was born between animals (urine and feces) and hay.

    For all those who continuously try to keep our people in perpetual darkness, the consciously aware guardians are on watch.

    On other concerns:

    The few physical beings (not limited to) making valuable contributions in the public square at the moment, are:

    Mr Gerard St. C. Farara- on the “Urgency” for a VI National Strategic Vision Plan in congruent with Constitution Reform, accordingly. To accomplish this, is to chart our path more clearly. Take heed, “for poverty of the mind becomes an affliction to one’s being.”

    And,

    Pastor John Cline- on mass push back necessary for any enforced legislation of the LGBT with their continuing alphabet agenda. For nature teaches us everything we need to learn; abnormalities in nature bear no fruits- thus, never become the norm; everything else is a “defect” imposed by supposedly “born that way” genetically modified beings.

    “Live and let live,” but their “will” should never be imposed as law (of destructive spirit-filled alters) upon the land- for there will be no end to their destruction, artificial inclinations and assimilations.

    JC, CSC, Former Hon. Pickering, Pastor Mel, and all the other religious and spiritual leaders must rise up against agents of mass destructive spirit-filled alters, seeking to gain traction upon our lands.

    Worry not what others may say about spiritual warriors on this particular issue. For no matter the enemies (internal or external)- “take a stance and stand in the realm of eternal spiritual truth.” We must not fall victims to the offerings of their golden calf.

    Pay attention- its all strategic, introduced through their gradual social deceptions of normalcy. Investigate logically, discern accurately, and “overstand” their motives expeditiously.

    Lot’s said, pick your battle.

    More on these issues will be forthcoming when the battle line draws near.

    Like 2
    Dislike 14
    • ????? says:

      What a c**p of excrement!
      Too much idle time on your hands my friend?

      Like 9
      Dislike 1
      • @????? says:

        That’s how low you think of yourself. Still trapped between the excrement of urine and feces. Lot’s of factual education needed to raise the consciousness of our people. As the blind cannot see colour, others like you can not see beyond your excrements. Sad.

        Our fight is not for n***a feel good babble, it is about tangibles, paying it forward for the next generation, and generations to come. Raise your vibration to acquire more. Live and learn.

        Like 1
        Dislike 2
  18. Eagle eye says:

    Vip y’all have 5 votes against you so far for the next election.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  19. ... says:

    If the appeal doesn’t go in his favor, I hope Mark makes him pay for his lawyer fees.

    Like 13
  20. Enforcement is Key says:

    Mr. Willock continues to make a mockery of the BVI and it’s new Government. It’s precisely this type of mindset that got him in trouble over the years. We need answers as to why this man was hired as Speaker, why his past did not resonate with the Premier’s decision, and why he is not being overridden. The money spent on appeal is taxpayer funds – totally unacceptable for a personal, on-man band/show vendetta.

    Like 14
    Dislike 2
  21. SMH says:

    MV cause all this! Let’s just have a Bi-Election! Issue resolved!

    Like 3
    Dislike 14
    • Yes says:

      You are obviously a follower of Willock’s logic and think that you can just call a bi-election. You don’t have that power. Neither does he. You can’t have a bi-election without having a VACANT seat. The seat is not vacant. What does who ‘caused’ it have to do with following the law?

      Like 6
      Dislike 2
    • @SMH says:

      Lets dissolve the Government and we all go back to the polls.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Some may see this case as a deliberate act to prevent Mr Vanterpool from serving the constituents of District Four, nothing is further from the truth.”
    THIS I TOTALLY AGREE WITH.

    ….but the actions of Mr Vanterpool must be tested, tried and proven true by the Court.
    WHY DOES HE HAVE TO BE TESTED BY THE COURT? his constituents have already deemed him suitable and qualified.

    Here my friends, we have EGO at work and unchecked by Mr. Fahie.

    Like 11
    Dislike 2
  23. Mr.Premier says:

    Enjoy the power trip that you are on. Your power trip is going to soon come crashing down. Tell your homeboy to do the right thing.The public is going to turn on you very soon Mr.Premier.

    Like 8
    Dislike 4
  24. To the People of the BVI says:

    This one man circus may appear free of charge but is very costly.

    PRIDE GOETH BEFORE A DESTRUCTION AND A HAUGHTY SPIRIT BEFORE A FALL (PROVERBS 16:18)

  25. Slim Jim says:

    “Business as usual”?

    “…not to be viewed as a personal attack..”?

    “…the four At Large Representatives are also responsible for the districts.”?

    Should I take it that voter disenfranchisement, obstruction of justice (by blocking a legally rendered judgement), wasting of taxpayer dollars (on a seemingly personal pursuit), and the distraction of the public and their leaders from more important and pressing matters at hand is “business as usual”, “not personal”, and easily handled by the “4 At-Large Representatives [who] are also responsible for the districts?

    Hmmmm… makes perfect (non)sense to me.
    Where shall we go from here?

    BTW, I see that my previous comments were blocked by the moderator. That’s Ok, there are more than a dozen ways to skin a cat

  26. Chic. says:

    Willock needs to leave it alone and stop wasting the courts time and Government money. Premier haul in the horse

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