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(BVI NEWS) – A bill that will protect the identities of witnesses involved in certain court cases is being introduced in the British Virgin Islands.
The bill is being titled Witness Anonymity and once implemented, a court will have the ability to effect a witness anonymity order to protect the safety of any witness.
While delivering his Speech from the Throne last week, Governor Augustus Jaspert said such an order will also prevent damage to a witness’ property, and ‘prevent real harm to the public interest’.
“This would be an invaluable tool in assisting with combating serious crime and at the same, it would also help to re-establish public confidence in the criminal justice system,” the Governor said.
Government is expected to introduce the bill to the House of Assembly this year.
This new piece of legislation is among several others that is expected to be implemented or amended for 2018.
“Our government is focused on introducing and amending different pieces of legislation under the theme: Build BVI Stronger, Smarter, Greener, Better. This vision is born out of our government’s longtime commitment of putting people first,” Governor Jaspert said.
He continued: “It chronicles the shared experiences of our people following the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria and their collective hope in making this territory more resilient and more sustainable, stronger than ever before.”