BVI: Local tribunal set up to discipline ‘unethical’ legal practitioners

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BVI: Local tribunal set up to discipline ‘unethical’ legal practitioners
Attorney General, Baba Aziz. (GIS photo)
Attorney General, Baba Aziz. (GIS photo)

(BVI NEWS) – A seven-member tribunal is now in place to discipline legal practitioners who are not abiding by the profession’s code of ethics/conduct in the British Virgin Islands.

Attorney General Baba Aziz said members of the public who have proof of misconduct and unethical behaviour by anyone in the profession will have the opportunity to present their case before the tribunal.

Previously, lawyers were disciplined through the high court but Aziz described the implementation of this legal tribunal as critical.

“I am aware of a number of allegations of unethical behaviours against some legal practitioners,” the attorney said while addressing members of the BVI Bar Association during the opening of the 2018/2019 law year on Tuesday.

“It is important as legal professionals to reflect on the ideals of our noble profession … we should always adhere to the highest ethical standards,” he added.

Aziz said a legal practitioner has a duty to the Crown and the public to uphold the laws of the territory. He said they also have a duty to not aid, abet, counsel, or assist anyone to act in any way contrary to the laws of the land.

He said there are strict ethical codes that also must be followed.

Meanwhile, president of the BVI Bar Association Jacqueline Daley said she welcomes the news.

“I am very happy that the Attorney General has pointed out that one of the long-awaited provisions of the Legal Professions Act is in place that we now have the appointment of a disciplinary committee.”

“We look forward to its functioning and we look forward to its operation in the way that we all know it needs to be,” she continued.

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