Local attorney Jamal Smith has been appointed the new chairman of the Labour Arbitration Tribunal in the British Virgin Islands.
Smith’s appointment took effect on August 1 and will last for two years.
Now the successor of Queen’s Counsels Luis Hunt and Paul Dennis, Smith is the first Virgin Islander to hold the post.
Making the announcement in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, September 22, Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley said Smith comes qualified to head the Tribunal.
The attorney is said to be a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators based in London, a former chairman of the BVI Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association and is, among other things, the owner of his own private practice with an affiliated office in Hong Kong.
With approximately 15 outstanding matters before the tribunal — three of which were referred to it since August of this year — Smith has long commenced his duties.
“Since the new Chairman’s appointment, he has swiftly implemented new procedural rules, namely the Labour Code Arbitration Tribunal Procedure Rules 2020 … that came into force on Monday 31st August 2020. The Chairman has since heard six of the outstanding matters in accordance with the new rules,” Wheatley told the House.
Over the years, the tribunal has overseen more than 25 matters but only two formal decisions have been handed down as some matters have been withdrawn.
The Labour Arbitration Tribunal was only relaunched recently.