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Gov’t backs two citizens taking legal action against UK

Gov’t backs two citizens taking legal action against UK

With a claim for “constitutional relief”, two unnamed private citizens in the British Virgin Islands have taken legal action against the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

The BVI government has declared their support to the duo whose purpose for the claim is to “vindicate their fundamental rights to privacy under Chapter 2 of the Virgin Islands Constitution”.

A person’s right to life, equality, liberty, security, freedom of conscience, expression, movement, assembly and association; protection for private and family life, the privacy of the home and other property, and payment of fair compensation are all rights protected under the BVI constitution.

It is not yet clear which of those rights the FCDO is being accused of breaching in the aforesaid case, which is presently before the BVI High Court.

The government shared news of the case while responding to an invitation from the Commission of Inquiry to, among other things, state its position of ‘good governance’.

The governors claim against UK, former governor

Similar to the two private citizens, the BVI government also brought judicial review proceedings against the FCDO in respect of the decision to direct the BVI to adopt a public register of corporate beneficial ownership.

These proceedings were brought on March 8, 2019.

“The BVI government remains the only government of a British Overseas Territory that will not implement the FCDO’s direction, while such registers are not the global standard, although the BVI Government has stated that it would adopt the measures if and when they do become the global industry standard,” the government state while outlining other offences it said UK governor along with former governor Augustus Jaspert has committed against the administration.

“The elected government [of the BVI further] contends that there has been a failure on the part of the UK government and the former governor to respect the constitutional settlement of 2007. As the Attorney General said in her letter Secretary of the Commission dated 14 June, 202*, that was not intended to be a submission of law but as indicated by the heading to the relevant section, which is entitled, ‘The relationship with the UK Government – political disagreements‘, a political statement. Indeed, the elected government has been making the same statement to the previous Governor and the FCDO for some years,” the Andrew Fahie administration added in its position statements to the COI.


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