British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Sep 19, 2020

Land acquisition by prescription is 'highway robbery'- Hon Fraser - calls on HoA to draft bill & 'get rid' of system

Senior Opposition Member, Hon Julian Fraser RA has called for the House of Assembly , with the help of the Attorney General, to get rid of 'Land Acquisition by Prescription' from the Virgin Islands, calling the system a legal form of highway robbery.

"I think it's the biggest form of highway robbery that is legal. Here's a guy, he's probably sitting somewhere in Texas... with 40 acres of land in the Virgin Islands and someone decided they want it or portions of it... and they go to land registry and file ownership by prescription," he said.

Hon Fraser was at the time speaking at the 13th Sitting of the Second Session of the Fourth House Of Assembly on July 27, 2020 during the debate on the Motion for VI's constitutional reform.

Notices are published first


According to Hon Fraser, the Registrar of Land will send out a notice, "which before it leaves his office, it comes back because he ain't got no address on you [land owner]."

He said other options of filing notice, is in the daily newspaper such as on an obscure page in small print.

"The only person who would see that is the man who is looking for your land by prescription because he's looking for it."

Mr Fraser said after the notice is published twice without a response, the land would be up for grabs.

Constitution must protect those with ancestral ties - Hon Fraser


"The poor guy in Texas, where is he going to see the Beacon or the Island Sun? Even the Guy here in Tortola don't see those things... next thing you know your land is gone.

"It is the highest form of highway robbery that is legal, it is wrong... and if there are no newspapers, you can publish the notice on a tree," Mr Fraser noted.

He called for the reformed constitution to be able to address those issues, and protect people with ancestorial tires to the Territory living abroad, such as landowners.

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