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Speaker Willock moves to Court of Appeal

- Speakers legal team says its not a personal attack on Fourth District Representative- Elect
Speaker of the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA), Hon Julian Willock has today Tuesday, May 7, 2019, filed an appeal on the ruling handed down by Justice Ann-Marie Smith on May 2, 2019, which ordered among other things, that that HoA Member-elect, Mr Mark H. Vanterpool be sworn into the House. Photo: Facebook/File
Lawyers for both Mr Vanterpool and Speaker Willock outside the High Count on April 12, 2019. The Lawyers including Mr Valston Graham, current Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), St Kitts and Nevis (first left) and Queen’s Counsel, Edwards H. Fitzgerald (second left). Photo: Team of Reporters/File
Lawyers for both Mr Vanterpool and Speaker Willock outside the High Count on April 12, 2019. The Lawyers including Mr Valston Graham, current Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), St Kitts and Nevis (first left) and Queen’s Counsel, Edwards H. Fitzgerald (second left). Photo: Team of Reporters/File
Appeal filed by Hon Julian Willock, Speaker of the HoA on the ruling handed down by Justice Ann-Marie Smith on May 2, 2019. Photo: Provided
Appeal filed by Hon Julian Willock, Speaker of the HoA on the ruling handed down by Justice Ann-Marie Smith on May 2, 2019. Photo: Provided
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Speaker of the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA), Honourable Julian Willock today Tuesday, May 7, 2019, filed an appeal on the ruling handed down by Justice Ann-Marie Smith on May 2, 2019, which ordered among other things that HoA Member-elect, Mr Mark H. Vanterpool be sworn into the House.

A public statement from the law firm representing the HoA and by extension the Government of the Virgin Islands, Veritas Law, noted that while Mr Vanterpool was successful in his claim that his resignation was not valid, the matter will now have to move to a higher court for a final decision.

Court of Appeal to rule

“As the Honourable Speaker had indicated before, he is prepared to comply with the decision of the Courts. Under section 87 (6) the Court in this instance includes the Court of Appeal which is the final decision maker in matters of this nature.”

The statement went on to say, “Having reviewed the judgment of the Honourable Justice Ann-Marie Smith and the relevant law on the subject matter, the Speaker has been advised that there are merits and a good prospect of success on an appeal.”

In further justifying the move, Veritas Law’s position is that the “matter is of such judicial importance that this is an opportunity for the Country to set a precedent in an area that has gone too long untouched.”

The law firm noted that a path of guidance must be paved so that future elected members understand the importance of their roles.

“As such, having reviewed the matter and acting on legal advice, the Speaker has decided to appeal the decision of the Honourable Justice Smith so that the Court of Appeal, which will be the final court to decide the matter pursuant to our Constitution, be given the opportunity to fully ventilate these important issues surrounding our Country’s governance,” they implored. 

Silence until now

Today May 7, 2019, Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) had sought comments on the ruling from the Speaker, given his silence since May 2. In both inquiries as to whether the ruling of Justice Smith will be respected or whether an appeal will follow, the Speaker declined to comment.

Veritas Law said some may see the appeal as a deliberate act to prevent Mr Vanterpool from serving the District (D4) constituents, however, they noted “nothing is further from the truth.”

The release further cited the “love” Mr Vanterpool has for his constituency as being "undoubted", but said the actions of the Member-elect must be, "tried and proven true by the Court".

It said an appeal against the decision ought not to be viewed as a personal attack on Mr Vanterpool and the law firm expects that the matter expedited in the Court of Appeal, given the matter of urgency.

Through the law firm, the HoA is being represented by a team of four lawyers, including Anand Ramlogan SC, former Attorney General (AG) of Trinidad and Tobago, along with Jared Jagroo. Mr Valston M. Graham, current Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), St Kitts and Nevis is the owner of Veritas Law.

Click here to download Notice of Appeal- Julian Willock v  Mark Vanterpool et al

24 Responses to “Speaker Willock moves to Court of Appeal”

  • king (07/05/2019, 20:14) Like (39) Dislike (16) Reply
    Wilcox clutching straws now. Him will have to sell he house to pay dis bill
  • Nostradamous (07/05/2019, 20:15) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
    Had a feeling dis was gonna happen. This just got interesting
  • Yes (07/05/2019, 20:19) Like (19) Dislike (82) Reply
    Great move Mr Willock!
  • watcher (07/05/2019, 20:58) Like (15) Dislike (72) Reply
    I support the esteemed speaker bottom line
  • Disgrace (07/05/2019, 21:24) Like (54) Dislike (8) Reply
    The court will never give him a break after this after he said he would comply with the ruling. Appealing is not complying Mr Speaker.
  • Yo (07/05/2019, 21:45) Like (55) Dislike (7) Reply
    Tnis is bull, Hon Fahie, i beg you step inn, this man is gping way too far, if yiu dont step ijm the people will!

    • Que? (08/05/2019, 07:08) Like (20) Dislike (32) Reply
      Step in for what? Mark getting exactly what he deserves. I dare YOU to quit your job and come back weeks later talking about “you didn’t mean it”.
      • i from here (08/05/2019, 08:42) Like (18) Dislike (9) Reply

        You're a fool. I worked at two establishments where people resigned....didn't like where they went to AND came back AND was rehired. Mark was WRONG BUT Speaker is no different. 

        • @ i from here (08/05/2019, 11:17) Like (7) Dislike (5) Reply
          Name the people who resigned and got their job back?
          • Sunshine (08/05/2019, 12:43) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
            I am individual that left a Company moved on but did not like the other place, so went back and was rehired. Some Companies have no issue with rehiring a great former employee.
          • in the know (08/05/2019, 13:59) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
            It happened at C&w in VG.
        • Djehdv (08/05/2019, 17:44) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
          You said it correctly: “they were rehired”. I am sure they would have had to re-apply for those positions. And I am also sure that they were not rehires after only a few weeks. If that is the case they are as unstable as Mark and your employers probably couldn’t afford to replace them with people with actual brains.

          I wish I could resign from my job, and come like “Yea, I know that I resigned, but I change my mind.” Haha
      • Yo (08/05/2019, 09:03) Like (11) Dislike (7) Reply

        Idiot who is loosing, we people of the 4th and that willock, mark is good,!

  • some (07/05/2019, 21:49) Like (37) Dislike (8) Reply
    Veritas Law said some may see the appeal as a deliberate act to prevent Mr Vanterpool from serving the District (D4) constituents, however, they noted “nothing is further from the truth.”

    And some may see it as a way for Veritas Law to rack up additional counsel time so that their fee note is that much greater. Of course at the end of the day at the tax payers expense whilst civil servants are being asked to hold on account of monies not being available.

    If in fact the constitution needs changing so that there is no repeat of this saga does the government need a win at the court of appeals to prove this? Look at the trend so far. Attorney General, Governor, BVI High Court , agrees with Mark. What makes this ( none indigenous) law firm think they can be successful in a higher court? Really?????
    • High paid Lawyers (08/05/2019, 06:40) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
      Working for their money.. They are able to convinced this speaker to appeal so they can continue to collect big .. They will lose the appeal... . A guess their next move will be PV counsel.. Keep the money coming.. Then they will lose again.. Then what next... Really hope its not tax payers money if it is then they should be made to pay it back... If its the speakers personal Battle and money let him be.
  • wize up (07/05/2019, 23:39) Like (0) Dislike (6) Reply
    I might be incorrect but Mark is being paid....
  • To what end? (08/05/2019, 06:13) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    Game playing. At the expense of the public purse. But this you will not win! By the time this is all over, you will be the laughing stock of the Caribbean. The Court of Appeal doesn’t suffer fools gladly. They will waste no time in reading you the riot act. I would love to be a fly on the wall at the hearing. I bet they deliver their ruling right there on the spot! Your lawyers told you there is merit to an appeal because that is what you want to hear as you advance your personal vendetta against Mark and because it is in the best interests of their bank accounts. The government purse is clearly open and win lose or draw they are going to get paid.
  • Fell N Sad (08/05/2019, 06:33) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    Heap a Nonsense.... Where is Andrew and VIP? This is shameful. Disappointing...Isn't Andrew that said he would respect the court ruling? Why are they allowing this speak to pull the government down....This is so so sad. Simple. Swear the man in and let's focus on moving the country forward..
  • Phoenix Rising (08/05/2019, 07:30) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
    Some parables included for higher-order thinking.

    “Fire either burns-out or purifies its object.” Organic intelligence- just keeping it real amongst the multitudes. For how could one truly know heaven if one has never been through hell. Paying it forward.

    “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” Sun Tzu

    More simply put. If you know others and know yourself, in a hundred battles- one need not fuss, the winner will eventually emerge; if you do not know others but know yourself- you win some, you lose some; if you do not know others and do not know yourself, expect defeat every single time.

    IOO, first judgment, seemingly orchestrated by an appointed overseer of the land, the inside baba, and the learned judge- all out of the same box/one group mind relying upon limited constitutional references on the matter, and as such, needed to be challenged. Popular shortcuts in the process may not always pan-out to be the correct approach for long-term solutions.

    However, if we keep getting distracted by the messengers and lose the messages, as the Hon. Fahie would say, interpreted otherwise, other forces are eagerly strategizing for the takeover. For we need be reminded that diamond and gold are found between dirt and stones. Humans are born between urine and feces. And- Christ was born between animals (urine and feces) and hay.

    For all those who continuously try to keep our people in perpetual darkness, the consciously aware guardians are on watch.

    On other concerns:

    The few physical beings (not limited to) making valuable contributions in the public square at the moment, are:

    Mr Gerard St. C. Farara- on the “Urgency” for a VI National Strategic Vision Plan in congruent with Constitution Reform, accordingly. To accomplish this, is to chart our path more clearly. Take heed, “for poverty of the mind becomes an affliction to one’s being.”

    And,

    Pastor John Cline- on mass push back necessary for any enforced legislation of the LGBT with their continuing alphabet agenda. For nature teaches us everything we need to learn; abnormalities in nature bear no fruits- thus, never become the norm; everything else is a “defect” imposed by supposedly “born that way” genetically modified beings.

    “Live and let live,” but their “will” should never be imposed as law (of destructive spirit-filled alters) upon the land- for there will be no end to their destruction, artificial inclinations and assimilations.

    JC, CSC, Former Hon. Pickering, Pastor Mel, and all the other religious and spiritual leaders must rise up against agents of mass destructive spirit-filled alters, seeking to gain traction upon our lands.

    Worry not what others may say about spiritual warriors on this particular issue. For no matter the enemies (internal or external)- “take a stance and stand in the realm of eternal spiritual truth.” We must not fall victims to the offerings of their golden calf.

    Pay attention- its all strategic, introduced through their gradual social deceptions of normalcy. Investigate logically, discern accurately, and “overstand” their motives expeditiously.

    Lot’s said, pick your battle.

    More on these issues will be forthcoming when the battle line draws near.
  • wize up (08/05/2019, 09:06) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    we here fretting and defending while #4 collecting a monthly payment: this thing call politics and depending on which side of the fence we sitting on determining our level of conversation(homeboy collecting his salary and some of we struggling to make end meet)
  • foxy (08/05/2019, 12:18) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    much to do about nothing Esteem speaker stay the course bossie
  • ----------------- (08/05/2019, 13:20) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
    The MARK has to go. He is patently unfit for office Willock shall not be moved.
  • hog city (08/05/2019, 13:25) Like (5) Dislike (8) Reply
    I am NOT a fan of Hon. Willock. As far as I am concerned He is doing an excellent JOB so who vex vex
  • Hmm (08/05/2019, 19:03) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    seems to me that 6 and half a dozen is the same thing. is the speaker and the premier confused why do we have to pay practitioners of the to explain one word (invalid) strupes consult the oxford for free how little this making us look


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