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BVI Bar welcomes passing of ECSC VI Amendment Act, 2020

- says legislation is a true testament to strides made when stakeholders & policymakers collaborate
President of the BVI Bar Association, Senor Associate at Harney, Ms Kimberly K Crabbe-Adams Says the VI Bar remains pleased with the swift passing of The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Virgin Islands) (Amendment) Act, 2020 in the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA). Photo: Harneys
The final draft bill was then endorsed by the BVI Bar and was circulated to the Attorney General, Hon Dawn J. Smith on August 31, 2020, which paved the way for its December 31, 2020, passing in the HoA, Ms Crabbe-Adams told VINO. Photo: GIS/File
The final draft bill was then endorsed by the BVI Bar and was circulated to the Attorney General, Hon Dawn J. Smith on August 31, 2020, which paved the way for its December 31, 2020, passing in the HoA, Ms Crabbe-Adams told VINO. Photo: GIS/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – President of the BVI Bar Association, Senor Associate at Harneys, Ms Kimberly K Crabbe-Adams says the BVI Bar remains pleased with the swift passing of The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Virgin Islands) (Amendment) Act, 2020 in the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA).

Mrs Crabbe-Adams, speaking Exclusively to Virgin Islands News Online (VINO), said the Bill, which became law on January 7, 2021, now paves the way and enables the VI to maintain its position on the cutting-edge of financial and legal services, while ensuring that claimants can seek relief in VI Courts to protect their interests.

VI litigation & International demands 

“People who incorporate companies in the BVI have business interests all over the globe, and as a result of that, BVI litigation often has an international element."

"This means that litigants often need to come to BVI to seek court relief, such as 'freezing injunctions' in support of proceedings elsewhere in the world,” Ms Crabbe-Adams told VINO.

She related that the VI Court since 2010, had been making such orders—commonly referred to as Black Swan Injunctions from the seminal BVI case of Black Swan Investment I SA v Harvest View Limited BVIHCV 399/2009 (23 March 2010) (BVI)—however, in a May 29, 2010 judgment of the Court of Appeal, the Court ruled that the VI had no jurisdiction to grant such orders.

Stakeholders engaged with policymakers

She said the Judgment also ruled that in order to grant this form of relief, the VI needed to have legislative provisions in place.

“Following the judgment, the BVI Bar Association worked with the Commercial Court Users Committee, to propose legislation to the Government,” Ms Crabbe-Adams told VINO.

The final draft bill was then endorsed by the BVI Bar and was circulated to the Attorney General, Hon Dawn J. Smith on August 31, 2020, which paved the way for its December 31, 2020, passing in the HoA, Ms Crabbe-Adams told VINO.

She further said that the piece of legislation is now a true testament to the great strides that can be made with collaboration that came through key stakeholders engaging with policymakers to ensure that their needs are being met.

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