Something to Brag About
THE REGIONAL LAW REVISION CENTRE – SOMETHING TO BRAG ABOUT.
Once again the Regional Law Revision Centre hosted a Consolidation of Law Training Programme, at the Hannah Waver House in The Valley, on 19th and 20th March.
It is unique. According to the heartbeat of the programme, Ms. Yolande Dash, the training cannot be had at any college or university anywhere. The course has been running since 2009 and now forms part of the Centre’s annual schedule of activities. It is model that has drawn international attention from countries near and far. To date, seventeen countries have been accommodated from inside the region and from as far out as the Falkland Islands and St. Helena.
The latest batch of participants in the course observed that it involves issues relating to how you go about amending laws, updating laws, consolidating laws and exploring different styles and approaches that can be used to make formatting easier. They were particularly impressed with the fact that the laws of Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands and Anguilla had been compiled in an electronic format – and that the Centre had designed templates that made it easier to do searches. This made laws more readily accessible. For example, a search for the word ‘murder’ would bring up every single piece of legislation with the word ‘murder’ in it. According to Rohan Walters, participant from St. Kitts, “It is just awesome. I mean it is not present in any other jurisdiction. This is not present in the UK. I don’t think it is present in the US. It is not present in any of our Caribbean countries. Most of our countries go to England to have their laws consolidated but it can be done right here in our backyard, in Anguilla, with more capacity and with more features. That’s absolutely great.”
The vision of the programme is to be a dependable provider of continuous, high quality and cost effective law consolidation, law revision and training services, thus empowering the Attorneys General of Overseas Territories and Caribbean States to pursue good governance and efficient access to the law.
This year has seen participants from the Attorneys General Chambers in Montserrat, St Lucia, Guyana, Turks and Caicos Islands, St Helena and the Law Commission in St Kitts. They had nothing but praise for what is so readily available. Mr. Walters of St. Kitts, in speaking about the effect the training had on him, said: “To see that we can have a product that is so advanced, so cutting edge – it had really redefined my thinking as it related to small vs. large nations. What really is a small nation? What’s a large nation? Is it based on population size, wealth or natural resources? I think it is based on your human capital and your capacity to offer a service that can change structures; change the way people view things – and I found that right here in Anguilla. So for me, Anguilla is a first class nation as opposed to a third world nation… When you think of Belize, Guyana and Trinidad, whose resources are much more than Anguilla’s, yet they are coming here to do this programme, it’s because they don’t have that capacity and those skills. It’s just so awesome. So, Anguilla has been elevated, in my view, as a first world nation.”
The programme concluded on Friday 20th March with a closing ceremony during which a Certificate of Attendance was presented to each participant. Those at the ceremony included the Attorney General, Hon. Rupert Jones, and other specially invited guests. In his remarks concerning the Centre, Mr Jones said: “We see it as a flagship for the region and we see it as a beacon that will hopefully spread its light wide – not only across the region, but also the world.”