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‘Lack of legal personnel for Opposition undemocratic’ – Hon Fahie

- said this is necessary to enable the Opposition to do the needed research on intricate issues in the HoA
Representative for the First District Representative Honourable Andrew A. Fahie believes it is time for Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition to have its own legal person to assist in legal matters in their work in the House of Assembly. Photo: VINO/File
“The time has come Madam Speaker for a legal personnel to be contracted or hired and allowed through parameters as to what they can be used for by the Opposition,” said Honourable Fahie during a debate on the report of the Standing Orders Committee on December 21, 2015, at the Fifth Sitting of the First Session of the Third House of Assembly. Photo: VINO/File
“The time has come Madam Speaker for a legal personnel to be contracted or hired and allowed through parameters as to what they can be used for by the Opposition,” said Honourable Fahie during a debate on the report of the Standing Orders Committee on December 21, 2015, at the Fifth Sitting of the First Session of the Third House of Assembly. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Representative for the First District and Member of the Opposition, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie believes it is time for Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition to have its own legal person to assist in legal matters in their work in the House of Assembly (HoA).

“The time has come Madam Speaker for a legal personnel to be contracted or hired and allowed through parameters as to what they can be used for by the Opposition,” said Honourable Fahie during a debate on the report of the Standing Orders Committee on December 21, 2015, at the Fifth Sitting of the First Session of the Third House of Assembly.

He explained that the Attorney General by definition of post advises the government. “And while they are in the House of Assembly, if they were advising us both they would sit in the middle. But we see what side they are on. And it is not like they are on the government’s side but [that is] the role of an Attorney General in general,” he said.

He noted that a legal person dedicated to the Opposition is highly necessary because of the intricacies of some of the issues that need to be dealt with by the Opposition.

“It is so that we can make sure that we analyse bills and queries that we would have from early so that we can have even more meaningful input,” he said.

'Degradation of Democracy'

Honourable Fahie said also that the move to acquire the legal person for the Opposition is to allow them to be precise on the issues being argued on the floor.

“It is so that we can come in here and be intelligent, precise, and accurate and be the best for the people.”

He said that not giving the Opposition access to the necessary personnel needed to do the proper research is tantamount to a degradation of democracy.

Honourable Fahie, along with Honourable Julian Fraser RA, Leader of the Opposition and Representative for the Third District, constitutes the Opposition following the June 8, 2015 elections in which the National Democratic Party (NDP) was returned to office by an 11-2 majority.

13 Responses to “‘Lack of legal personnel for Opposition undemocratic’ – Hon Fahie ”

  • Erm (30/12/2015, 09:02) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    I think the Opposition should have the private counsel of their choice and the Government sets aside some funds in the budget each year for the legal fees. Having a Government counsel for the opposition might be of a little more challenge and issues of conflict of interest might arise given the nature of the Opposition's role.
  • Privilidge (30/12/2015, 09:05) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Don`t the opposition has free legal access as it relates to advice from the AG`s office? if not that`s unfair, because they are all paid by Tax payers, the big difference is that the opposition are elected by the people and deserves that privilege.
  • wize up (30/12/2015, 09:18) Like (2) Dislike (13) Reply
    short of seeking to overthrow an adminstration what topics can any opposition have to discuss that they can not use the services of the attorney general chamber( assign a lawyer from AG chambers, they already on the payroll).....
  • Political Observer (30/12/2015, 10:18) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    Providing the Opposition access to legal services would improve the quality and accuracy of discussions on the floor. Many bills coming to HOA require legal research and vetting. Government has access to legal services so the Opposition too should have access to legal services. The legal services provided to the Opposition should be totally dedicated to advising the Oppostion. The lawyer-client relationship should be respected. The AG is probably wedded to the government side so he/she cannot fairly meet the Opposition needs. Goats feed where they are tied. If we want quality debates, the playing field has to be somewhat level. The current process is advantage -Government. Good governance (oxymoron) cannot be attained by one side having an unfair advantage. Talking of unfair advantage, where is the legislation for setting a date certain for general elections.
  • Observer (30/12/2015, 10:44) Like (3) Dislike (8) Reply
    Fahie, where in the commonwealth world with a parliamentary system does the opposition have legal representation provided by the Govt?

    The Attorney General is by nature the govt's legal advisor, they can't be advisors to the opposition. That would be like DPP prosecuting and defending a defendant before the court.
  • facts man (30/12/2015, 11:44) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Fahie we with you
  • voter (30/12/2015, 18:05) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
    Howse about we start by getting some competent politicians
    • @ voter (30/12/2015, 18:26) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
      Yea like Archie, Deloris, Myron and Alvera hahahahehehe
    • @voter (30/12/2015, 18:47) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      You sound so stupid. Although both sides have their failures, overall the BVI compared to a lot of other places have competent politicians but no one knows ALL about every topic. Fahie's suggestion will allow for more balance representation from both sides. Through this we the people will benefit the most.
  • ---------------- (30/12/2015, 18:25) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Fahie I agree with you boss


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