According to the Honourable Attorney General (AG), the three lawyers were appointed by her pursuant to section 13 of the COI Act.
If that is correct, then section 19(1a) of the Legal Profession Act is triggered, and the trio are considered law officers within the AG’s office pursuant to section 95(4) of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007.
The said trio, according to section 19(2) of the Legal Profession Act are now deemed to be the holder of a valid Practicing Certificate and to be Legal Practitioners.
The AG is then required, pursuant to section 19(3) of the said Act, to sign and issue a Certificate to the Law Officers as in the form of Schedule 3.
It is my humble view that there is no need for the trio to make a formal application to be admitted to the Bar for the purposes of the COI.
However, once the COI is over, the deeming proviso of section 19(2) of the said Act would not apply to them, and they would now need to be admitted to the Bar in order to pursue private work in the territory.
I do hope my humble opinion would assist in clearing up this legal conundrum that has gripped the territory. Let us unite and focus our energies on the COI and their recommendations.
Peace and Love,
Attorney-at-law, Stephen Daniels