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Queen’s Counsel disapprove of $10,000 Inner Bar application fee

Queen’s Counsel disapprove of $10,000 Inner Bar application fee


Some members of the Inner Bar here have expressed disapproval of the $10,000 fee which must now be paid by persons applying to become one of Her Majesty’s Counsel.{{more}}

The Queen’s Counsel expressed their views during the recent call of Stanley John Q.C. to the Inner Bar.

According to a document “ECSC QC Appointment Procedures,” which outlines a list of procedures for applicants who wish to be appointed as Queen’s Counsel, the application fee is $6,000, payable to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. On successful application, a further fee of $4,000 must be paid.

This procedure is in keeping with protocol that was established on November 26, 2010, while Sir Hugh Rawlins was the Chief Justice of the East Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC).

While giving remarks at special sitting held in John’s honour, Bertram Commissiong Q.C. voiced his disagreement with the introduction of the payment.

“Being a Queen’s Counsel is a privilege bestowed on counsel who has excelled at the bar,” Commissiong said, adding that he would like to have the payment removed from the requirement.

“That has been a deterrent for so many people who would like to apply for silk. I don’t know whether the new Chief Justice is going to look into that. It is something that needs to be looked into,” Commissiong said.

Other members of the Inner Bar also shared Commissiong’s sentiments, with several noting that they were not required to make a payment upon their appointments as Queen’s Counsel.

The other Queen’s Counsel in SVG are Carlyle Dougan, Parnell Campbell and Andrew Cummings.(BK)