Virgin Islander Dawn Smith will serve as the territory’s new attorney general, Governor Gus Jaspert announced last Thursday during a press conference.
Ms. Smith, an attorney with more than two decades of experience, joined the BVI Financial Services Commission as general counsel in 2013 and was part of the task force that helped establish the BVI International Arbitration Centre, which provides neutral dispute resolution. She is also an advisor with the centre.
Previously, she specialised in commercial litigation, working as an associate lawyer with Conyers Dill & Pearman and O’Neal Webster. She became a barrister of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in 1997, and from 2006 to 2009 she was the London-based VI representative in Europe.
Her new role will include advising and representing government in legal matters, pursuing law reforms, and promoting the fair administration of justice, according to government.
Ms. Smith will take up her new role later this year, and current Attorney General Baba Aziz will serve in the interim, according to Mr. Jaspert, who did not provide a more specific timeframe.
Mr. Aziz began a three-year appointment in February 2015, and it was since extended.
The governor thanked Mr. Aziz for his service and highlighted the importance of the role during last Thursday’s press conference at the Department of Disaster Management.
“The attorney general is a crucial role — an impartial source of legal advice,” Mr. Jaspert said. “I am very much committed to good governance and accountability in this territory, and the position of the attorney general is important in that.”
On May 22, Premier Andrew Fahie announced that a Virgin Islander would be appointed as attorney general, but he did not name her.
“It shows that once we continue to fight for people in the Virgin Islands and those that call here home and embrace here as their home, they will be able to continue to build the Virgin Islands from strength to strength,” Mr. Fahie said.
Another Virgin Islander, Tiffany Scatliffe-Esprit, was recently confirmed in the post of director of public prosecutions.