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Public registers ‘fight’ will bring Constitutional review of UK powers over VI

-we’re supposed to make our own laws, what gives you these rights to impose these laws upon us—Attorney
Attorney-at-Law, Colin Riegels discusses the implications of public registers with Honestly Speaking's Claude Skelton-Cline. Photo: Team of Reporters
Eminent VI Attorney’s Gerard St C. Farara QC, at right and Colin Riegels. Photo: Provided
Eminent VI Attorney’s Gerard St C. Farara QC, at right and Colin Riegels. Photo: Provided
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - A legal fight between the United Kingdom (UK) and the Virgin Islands (VI), over the imposition of ‘public registers,’ will inevitably lead to a Constitutional review, with a focus on the powers of the UK to unilaterally impose legislation on the Territory.

The imposition of a public registers for beneficial ownership was had by the UK Parliament, and ordered imposed on the Territory, despite the fact, the VI has its own legislature in the form of the House of Assembly (HoA) which is empowered to introduced laws in a democratic fashion.

These were among the notions discussed by eminent VI Attorneys, Gerard St C. Farara QC, and Colin Riegels.

The two were at the time guests of Claude O. Skelton-Cline’s, Honestly Speaking, on Tuesday August, 21, 2018, where the legal minds engaged the matter of the UK’s decision to impose public registers for beneficial ownership and its impact on the local Financial Services Sector.

Constitutional Review

Mr Riegels opined that whatever the ultimate decision on the public registers, by engaging in a legal fight with the UK on the matter, it opens the door for Constitutional review.

According to Mr Riegels, “even if we decide on the possibility of legal challenges, then obviously we are entering a period of either formal or informal constitutional review with the UK.”

The eminent VI Attorney-at-Law said, “I think one of the things that’s almost certain,” is the process will see, “some kind of dialogue, which says, hey we’re supposed to have a relationship here …We’re supposed to make our own laws…What gives you these rights to impose these laws upon us?”

He said, “any kind of sensible concessional accommodation that is made in terms of new constitutional arrangements going forward, has to call into question things like that which seeks to impose laws upon us without any democratic process here.”


4 Responses to “Public registers ‘fight’ will bring Constitutional review of UK powers over VI”

  • John (22/08/2018, 15:59) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
    I hope the BVI goes ahead and challenge the U.K. Parliament’s decision. It would be quite interesting to see what the outcome will be ..
  • guy hill (22/08/2018, 18:28) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Going forward, the future strength of the Virgin Islands rests on the integrity of all processes be it immigration, customs, law enforcement, politics, good governance, transparency or accountability. Seize the time.
  • Amused (22/08/2018, 22:01) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply

    When a bank did things at me that are very illegal in several countries, someone reccomended I see Gerard
    Farara about it a couple years ago. Well I did and he turned out to be the attorney for the bank. He
    has protected them ever since, and now he's spouting off about what is right and what is wrong. Talk about
    corruption. This American will bring it all down, only because I did no wrong, had a hard life, and when I moved
    to the BVI, persons like them tried to get anything they could from me. That is it. Yea reap what yea sow.

  • $$$ (23/08/2018, 11:29) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well if the UK can enact laws that affect our ability to make a living then they should also enact laws that also fill the hole in our pockets with some of their tax dollars.

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