BVI News

Willock warns new AG he will seek independent legal advice in future

House of Assembly Speaker, Julian Willock

Speaker of the House of Assembly, Julian Willock has put the newly-appointed Attorney General (AG) Dawn Smith on notice that he will be exercising his right to seek independent legal counsel in the future.

According to Section 58 of the BVI’s constitution, the attorney general shall be the principal legal adviser to the government of the Virgin Islands.

Some of the key responsibilities of the territory’s attorney general include serving as ex-officio of the House of Assembly, piloting bills, and rendering advice on legal issues arising with respect to the proceedings of the House of Assembly and other related matters.

Willock’s statement was made during a special sitting in the House of Assembly to swear-in AG Smith on Thursday.

He said: “Madam incoming Attorney General, I know in my role as Speaker that we may not always agree. However, I trust that we will avoid, while in my official capacity, where the Attorney General is arguing against the Speaker of the House in a court of law.”

“Notwithstanding, at times I will exercise the right to obtain independent legal advice. But please do not ever see this as a method to undermine your wise counsel, rather it is only to supplement it,” he added.

Long days ahead

Willock welcomed AG Smith as an official member of the House but also warned her of the long and demanding days ahead in her tenure.

“While you will escape many of the demands that the thirteen of our members face on a daily basis from the general public, I am sure the Premier would have briefed you that he has an ambitious legislative agenda. Therefore, expect long days, long nights, and long debates in this chamber,” the Speaker stated.

He added: “More often than not, you will also be called upon to give your legal opinion on continuous matters. Therefore, you have your work cut out for you, but I too take comfort in knowing you are up to the task.”

Willock is no stranger to independent counsel

Speaker Willock has already established a history of seeking independent legal counsel, which last cost the taxpayers more than $270,000.

This was made evident in the historic case between himself and the Representative of the Fourth District, Mark Vanterpool back in 2019. The case spanned almost three months before the Speaker conceded.

 

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39 Comments

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  1. Goodsense says:

    wasting the people’s purse is more like it

    Like 63
    Dislike 3
    • Lol says:

      What a s*yt show! Cat wait for this administration to change.

      Like 39
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      • reply says:

        Say want you want about the Speaker he has done an extra good job keeping the House in Order clap clap

        Like 4
        Dislike 46
        • Shaky start says:

          After a very shaky start, and making a complete f**l of himself with respect to the Court case against Mark Vanterpool, the speaker has settled down and does a reasonable job of running the house. I assume that he was not surcharged for the legal costs, although there is a good case for saying that he should be.

          Like 21
          Dislike 5
          • @ shaky start says:

            He had a very good start, the VIP weak they should have appeal…I am sure it would not have cost $1.2 Mill (wall) let alone $7.2 (Plane)

            Congratulations Speaker Hon Willock you are the right choice for the job and if the BVI will be honest you have done good works!

            Like 4
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      • Me to says:

        Me to buddy. VIP lost my full support. Independence what? You just don’t want to be held accountable for your actions. This is not the sign of a true leader. Not the leader I voted for. Your Gov is losing steam sir. Real fast to.

        Like 52
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    • @ goodsense says:

      Once it does not reach $7.2 Million we with JW

      Like 4
      Dislike 21
    • The oppresor says:

      Too much wasted monies by the NDP now go talk that

      Like 1
      Dislike 4
  2. It’s a shame says:

    This is soo disrespectful and another waste of government money. Then again, this is how their cronies get work to do worthless opinions including the Trinidad lawyer and some of the local lawyer cronies.

    Like 50
    Dislike 1
  3. Toad says:

    Sit down..

    Like 19
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  4. Reply says:

    Why would Willock want to seek independent legal counsel in the future, and bypass the government top attorney?

    Something is not right with that picture. The message he is sending here upfront is that he will undermine the head government’s attorney as he see fit and has done before with the previous attorney general.

    IMO, the Speaker of the House should should solely solicit the legal counsel of the Attorney General, and if he wants to go outside her counsel, he should foot that bill and tax payers should not have to pay a dime for it.

    The Attorney General is the governments’ attorney, and he/she should not be undermined by the Speaker of the House.

    Mr. Willock needs to climb down from his high horse before he break his neck. He needs to stop ego and power tripping, and eat a big portion of humble pie.

    Like 76
  5. My run says:

    I am not a fan but the esteemed is doing an ok job

    Like 6
    Dislike 49
  6. Don says:

    I agree with the speaker good job mr Willock

    Like 5
    Dislike 44
  7. Is she says:

    Investigating her brothers in the BVI Airways deal? Don’t be like Jeff Sessions and recuse yourself. Andrew you forgot about the hype you started while in the opposition?
    I wonder what’s the status on the case. Can you get back the 7.2 mil or not?

    Like 13
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    • Ning says:

      It is like all these news sites – they never ever report back on the story. One and done!

      BVI News you need to have a follow up on all these stories that you leave out there. You just report and let a news cycle die that is not even close to being done. Wake up!

  8. Lets not forget says:

    that one of the independent attorney Hon Willock hired recently, Anand Ramlogan, was arrested and charged with accepting kickbacks in Trinidad last year —
    https://www.looptt.com/content/anand-ramlogan-arrested-ramdeen-turns-self

    Like 25
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  9. Meh Son says:

    “However, I trust that we will avoid, while in my official capacity, where the Attorney General is arguing against the Speaker of the House in a court of law.”

    This is only likely to happen when the Speaker does not follow the advice of the AG, …, which is what happened recently.

    Who will pay for this why it happens?

    Like 21
    Dislike 1
  10. smh says:

    He is past r******ous, way out of line and is allowed to run rampant. Send help. I shudder to think what the BVI will have become in another 20 years.

    Like 19
    Dislike 2
  11. OMG says:

    A******t A** wearing a long curly white wig. P****tic.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  12. ringside seat says:

    I will await to see if the new AG speeds up the bvi airways case involving the former FS

    Like 11
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    • Sage says:

      be logical
      that will be a conflict of interest and she will recuse herself

    • Tongue Fu says:

      @ ringside seat

      If the Police are asked to investigate they will take their findings to the DPP who will determine if there is a case to proceed with. It is a matter of the DPP not the AG.

  13. Pat says:

    so what is the issue here? Mr. Speaker has the right to get another opinion!! much to do about nothing with a bunch of haters.

    But Willock stay focus

    Like 4
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  14. lol says:

    F**l please take a seat. We are not following you or your government into independence. You do not have the prescribed leadership skills or competency. Your background speaks volume to your trustworthiness.

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  15. my run says:

    A baldheaded **** without a wig is not a good site to behold…………lol

    Like 8
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  16. Stuups says:

    How condescending. Just congratulate her and done.

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  17. britian says:

    do you know what you are doding mr speaker you and tge premuer beter be very carefull because both of you can be caught up, Respect the new attorney Genetal do you know that she can have you all locked up contine to do s**t you will pay some day.
    I thought the premier had sense but he is acting like a big frog, Willock cool out before you get put in the fridge you better use ms smiyh and do not go digging because you might get dugged up stop showing off as for the Premier he will soon hear from England and the house of commons just wait. Andrew take warning.

  18. Weed says:

    Yes willock is the man he one of we

    Like 1
    Dislike 8
  19. Not2sure says:

    I like mr Willock speech and I understand what he was saying

    Like 1
    Dislike 8
  20. Norris Turnbull says:

    Sometimes we need to tell people shut up. This man’s ar*****ce is bliss. Be respectful. Never let a little power swell your big head.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  21. Ning says:

    If I was the AG and was in a position to respond in the the HOA I would have advised the Speaker ever so diplomatically that his comments are noted. I would then respond with: if I as the AG, find you to be out of line, wasting the public purse, or deem you to not be doing things within the legal framework you are required to abide by, my Chambers will most certainly be seeking legal remedies or taking action on behalf of the public I represent. This Sir, I might add, will not require independent legal parties!

    🙂

    Like 10
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    • @ Ning says:

      You sound so silly and wicked. The Speaker is our guy he has done a superb job and He should be speaker for life if you ask me!

      Like 2
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  22. Yawn says:

    There is nothing wrong with seeking independent counsel or getting a second opinion. In some cases it is the smart thing to do although more expensive. It is common for lawyers to have different opinions on certain issues.

    Like 3
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  23. political says:

    WILLOCK TAKE YOUR TIME YOUR LEAF IS NOT ALL THAT GREEN GOD GIVE POWER AND HE CAN TAKE IT BACK TO, DO GO EAST BECAUSE EASY MIGHT GO YOU DO NOT LET POWER GET TO YOUR HEAD BECAUSE WHEN POWER GET TO YOU YOU MIGHT BE IN A BAD STATE IT CAN COME IN MANY DIFFRENT FORMS, ASK GOD TO GUIDE YOU AND NOT YOU GUIDE GOD. LOOK WHAT HAPPEN TO THE GREAT KINGS OF THIS WORLD ESPECOALLY NEBUCAZZER HE WAS PUT OUT TO EAT GRASS BE CAREFULL BECAYSE WHEN THE LORD READY TO DO HIS JUDGING IT MAY NOT ONLY BE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF LIFE BUT IT MIGHT BE RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE THE BIBLE DOES NOT LIE BE HUMBLE

  24. ReX FeRaL says:

    If the speaker is seeking independent opinions HE, should pay for or it.

    Like 10
  25. SEA COWS BAY says:

    MR. WILLOCK WATCH HOW YOU ARE THROWING YOUR BALL THE GLOVE DOES NOT CATCH IT ALL THE TIME ALSO THE BAT BREAKES SOMETIMES TOO. YOU MAY NEED THAT SAME DAWN SMITH TO HELP TAKE YOU OUT OF WHAT GET INTO. BE CAREFULL POWER NELONGS TO ONE MAN. TGE PREMIER IS F****SH BECAUSE TOU DONOT HAVE THE GOVERNOT PRESENT AND DOES NOT PLAY THE NATIONAL ANTHEM A JEIGHT OF DISRESPECT. ENGLAND WILL SOON TAKE CARE OF YOU ALL IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME REMEMBER THE SHIP IS HERE SO LETS HOPE THAT SOME OF YOU DO NOT GET A FAMALIAR VISIT AND A STOP AND STAY TO THE SHI[ BE MINDFUL

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
    • @ sea cows bay says:

      thank you Mr. Speaker for your professionalism, grace and how you have conducted the business of the house of Lords, you have made us from Sea Cows Bay very proud of you

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