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Should Attorney General be 'From Here?' - Dr Pickering says it's debatable

- Conversation follows calls for VIP Gov’t to remove current AG, Baba F. Aziz
Former Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Resources & Labour, Dr. Kedrick D. Pickering says the post of Attorney General (AG) currently held by Mr Baba F. Aziz in the Virgin Islands (VI), being only applicable to Belongers and ‘from here’ citizens should be a matter up for debate moving forward when the territory decides to take on another constitutional review. Photo: GIS
Dr Pickerinig, who was part of the committee for the 2007 constitutional review in the VI expressed his opinions on the Tuesday, May 14, 2019, edition of 'Honestly Speaking' with Claude O. Skelton-Cline when questioned on the topic. Photo: Facebook
Dr Pickerinig, who was part of the committee for the 2007 constitutional review in the VI expressed his opinions on the Tuesday, May 14, 2019, edition of 'Honestly Speaking' with Claude O. Skelton-Cline when questioned on the topic. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Former Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr Kedrick D. Pickering says the post of Attorney General (AG) in the Virgin Islands (VI) being only applicable to Belongers and ‘from here’ citizens should be a matter up for debate moving forward when the territory decides to take on another constitutional review.

Dr Pickering, who was part of the Committee for the 2007 Constitutional Review in the VI, expressed his opinions on the Tuesday, May 14, 2019, edition of Honestly Speaking with Claude O. Skelton-Cline.

The ‘From Here’ Debate

“We did that with the Deputy Governor, which was part of the constitutional review, that the Deputy Governor has to be a, quote-unquote, Belonger,” he told Mr Skelton-Cline when asked about whether the post should be limited to only those who are ‘from here’ rather than having an outsider take on the role.

Currently, the post of AG in the Territory is filled by Ghanaian Baba F. Aziz, and over the months, social commentators including Tola Radio VI 'Hard Talk' host, Julio S. Henry have been calling for his removal, given his alleged role in overseeing several financial irregularities, such as mismanagement of funds that occurred under the past National Democratic Party (NDP) administration.

According to Dr Pickering, the issue lies in what would happen if there are no qualified locals.

“It’s a job that has certain qualifications attached to it, but what you hope is ultimately that you get to the point where you have a country where you have the Attorney General from amongst your elected officials...that’s what happens in most independent countries,” he said.

Up for Debate – Dr Pickering

Dr Pickering reiterated the issue is definitely a matter for debate moving forward. "Do you really want to box yourself into these highly professional positions if there are no local persons, just to say you must have a local person?”

He further said, “It was different for the Deputy Governor because that’s an administrative post, you don’t have to have a specific qualification to be Deputy Governor… to be the Attorney General you have to be a lawyer… you have to have a certain number of years’ experience."

“Its a part of the debate moving forward, I think that it has to be on the agenda,” Dr Pickering further implored.

12 Responses to “Should Attorney General be 'From Here?' - Dr Pickering says it's debatable”

  • 123 (16/05/2019, 11:58) Like (7) Dislike (6) Reply
    yes they should
  • dude (16/05/2019, 12:09) Like (16) Dislike (8) Reply
    I don't think being from here is a necessary requirement for that post. We can take a brilliant attorney from anywhere as long as they genuinely vet each case without bias
  • legal team (16/05/2019, 12:15) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    Did Dr. Pickering read the V.I Constitution Order 2007? No disrespect to the doctor, but look I have the V.I Constitution reading..
    We as Constitutional researchers should not hide the Constitution from our people..No Contraversy, so lets read the Constitution Order 2007. POWER TO APPOINT ETC TO LEGAL OFFICE.

    Section 95 - SUBSECTION "" [6] "" of the V.I Constitution states [" No person shall be appointed to the office of Attorney General unless he or she belongs to the Virgin Islands unless, in the opinion of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, there is no such person who is suitably qualified and able and willing to be so appointed"]

    This matter was debated before Her Majesty,the Queen at the court at Buckingham Palace,in the presence of the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in Council and on the advice of Her Privy Council, on 13th June 2007.

    Having a belonger as A.G is a Constitutional Law, as written in the V,I Constitution Order 2007.

    What do you want to debate?..Because its already in the Constitution.
    Researched by..
    Legal Team..
    • Googsense (16/05/2019, 13:14) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
      "unless, in the opinion of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, there is no such person who is suitably qualified and able and willing to be so appointed"]

      Reading is fundamental but being able to interpret what you read makes a huge difference. The persons can be appointed by the Judicial and Legal Service Commission is there is no qualified belonger
      • reply to googsense (16/05/2019, 13:37) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
        The headline is, ;Should attorney general be from here?; Dr. Pickering says, its debatable..
        Legal team is saying, there is nothing to be debated, its already written in the constitution, with exception..there is nothing to be interpreted..You should only have a expat AG if no virgin islander is qualified or unable or unwilling to do the job of AG. I understand that to mean, bvislander first and if bvislander is not qualified etc you go to the expat, that is straight forward..so if no vislander is qualified,no problem expat AG can be appointed..I read the comment and I understand that as ABC..
  • wize up (16/05/2019, 12:43) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    we once had an AG from BVI: now suddenly people of the BVI is not competent enough to fill particular post: Frazer/Malone headed the police department: Creque headed the ports: Frett dealt with HMP:
  • Hmmmm (16/05/2019, 14:06) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes
  • i from here (16/05/2019, 15:33) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    in a time like this we do need a local AG
  • Spice (16/05/2019, 16:24) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    It is not necessary and don't have to be a residence of the said country. for instance in Grenada Mr. Wildman served for four years as the AG and throughout the Caribbean it is normal to hire Law enforcement personnel from different countries. Its is no difference hiring foreign Police.
  • Immigration (16/05/2019, 17:20) Like (6) Dislike (7) Reply
    truthfully speaking some of the folks in certain key post in the territory can not hold such positions in their own country back home they are simple ordinary employees mr man will never be an attorney general in his own country
  • Messed Up (17/05/2019, 08:15) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Here. there it doesn't matter.. Its all about character.. Not from here do your work the right way you get pushed out. From here do your job the right way you get daily threats even execution like Mr Penn from east end ... This place is a rough place to survive if you are doing good and standing up for what is right. .. This place is Dog eat Dog.. Selfishness and greed is the order of the day...Change come because people put their lives on the line.. The freedom we enjoy its the sacrifice others made fighting for it..... This man had labour trampling on people rights.. Workers taking advantage of by employers... How can they say they love God if they don't love people....


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