British Virgin Islands

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Premier should have bodyguards just like for Governor, Chief Justice

Premier should have bodyguards just like for Governor, Chief Justice

Why was there public outcry over hiring security detail for the territory’s Premier when no one has ever questioned the security detail provided for the Governor and Chief Justice?
This is because the BVI doesn’t respect the legislature in the same way it respects the other two arms of government - the Executive and the Judicial arms - Jullian Willock has said.

Willock - Speaker of the House of Assembly - made the point that even though the Legislature funds the Executive and the Judiciary, these two arms are often allowed to exercise their full powers while the legislature is prevented from doing the same.

“Almost 19 months ago - while the public debated the security afforded to our head of government and Premier - there was never a dispute over both the Governor and Chief Justice being afforded the same security, which we support.”

“Again, it speaks to a different standard or, might I say, interpretation of co-equal branches of government. While the other two branches are allowed to have the tools that come with the office, for us in the Legislative Branch, it continues to be a struggle,” the outspoken Speaker argued.

He explained that according to the Constitution, the Governor is Head of the Executive Branch, the Speaker is Head of the Legislative, and the Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme court is the Head of our Judicial Branch.

He said all three should operate as co-equal branches of government, with none having more power than the others.

“After all, it is the Legislative Branch that passes the Appropriation Bill - the funding of the other two branches,” Willock said.

He cautioned that he isn’t requesting special privilege or treatment for elected members but is simply calling for equality for all three arms.

“I do not want tomorrow’s headlines to be that the Speaker is requesting special privilege or treatment for elected members. That is far from the truth. All the Speaker is requesting is that the concept of co-equal branches of government is put into practice and respected,” Willock said.
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