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Imposters practising before the Court?

Imposters practising before the Court?


Are there people practising law in St Vincent and the Grenadines who do not possess the necessary certification to do so? According to the President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Bar Association, that may be the case.

During her address at the special sitting of the High Court to mark the opening of the 2015-2016 law term, René Baptiste said she has been receiving reports of persons “who purport to practise the law in St Vincent and the Grenadines without having attended the requisite schools.”{{more}}

She, however, added that the practice will soon come to an end, as those persons have “discovered that we know who they are.”

This, though, according to Baptiste, is the not the only case of misrepresentation within the legal profession. She pleaded with the Attorney-General to publish a list of certified notaries-public and justices of peace.

Baptiste explained that in the registration of documents, persons often inquire about notaries-public and justices of the peace and they are sometimes referred to persons who are acting in a capacity in which they do not have powers to act.

She said she hopes that with a published list of notaries-public and justices of the peace, persons will be led to the persons who are certified to act in the capacity in which they were hired.

Baptiste’s presentation followed that of the Chief Justice Dame Janice Perriera, who spoke of some attorneys-at-law in those jurisdictions that have a Legal Profession Act practising without a practising certificate.

“In most of our member states, the Legal Profession Act which forms many aspects of the legal profession mandates that an attorney-at-law must possess a practising certificate. However, there are increasing number of attorneys who commit a great disservice to the profession, the client and the court, knowing fully well that they are in contravention of this requirement,” the chief justice declared during her speech.

St Vincent and the Grenadines does not have a Legal Profession Act, so a practising certificate is not required for an attorney to practise law here, as practising certificates are normally issued by the regulatory authority designated by the Legal Profession Act.

A draft Legal Profession Bill 2008 is, however, before the Attorney-General.

The 2015-2016 law term opened on Thursday, 17 September with a church service at the Roman Catholic Church and a special sitting of the High Court, with Justices Brian Cottle, Esco Lorene Henry and Kathy Ann Waterman Latchoo presiding.