What are the requirements for non-citizens to be admitted to practise law in Saint Lucia?
The Legal Profession Act (the LPA), Cap 2.04 of the Revised Laws of Saint Lucia (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) governs the procedure and lists the prerequisites for making an application for non-citizens to be admitted to practise law in Saint Lucia. This is governed by Section 16 of the Act.
An applicant who is not a citizen of Saint Lucia but is a citizen or a national of a country the laws of which gives reciprocal treatment to a citizen of Saint Lucia in relation to admission to practice law in that country and is desirous of practising law in Saint Lucia may apply to be called to the bar in Saint Lucia provided that the applicant falls within the following categories as provided for under section 15 of the Act:
- any English or Irish barrister-at-law, or any Scottish advocate;
- any barrister or advocate of any of the Superior Courts of any British Possession where similar privileges are accorded to barristers of the Supreme Court;
- any solicitor of the United Kingdom or Law Agent admitted to practise in Scotland;
- any person who has passed the intermediate and final examinations of the Law Society of England. However, this person must –
- have served for 5 years continuously in the Chambers of a practising barrister and has throughout that time been of a good character; and
- passed one of the following examinations:
- the Matriculation Examination of the University of London,
(ii) the School Certificate Examination of the University of Cambridge, or
- any examination prescribed as qualifying for admission to the Inns of Court.
REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURE
- An applicant who falls into any of the above categories can present, through an attorney-at-law, an application to the Attorney General’s Chambers for the publication of an order in the Gazette.
- All copies of all supporting qualifications documents must be presented with the request.
- The application to the Attorney General’s Chambers must be accompanied by the applicant’s consent to obtain verification of all certificates/qualifications.
- The Attorney General’s Chambers will perform all necessary due diligence to ascertain that the applicant is indeed eligible to practise at the bar as well as determine the authenticity of the supporting qualifications documents provided,
- After the Due Diligence, the Attorney General shall consult with the Chief Justice to determine whether the applicant is from a country which facilitates reciprocal treatment to a citizen of Saint Lucia in relation to admission to practise law in that country.
- Once satisfied. the Attorney General shall thereafter by Order published in the Gazette provide that, subject to such conditions as the Attorney General may specify, the applicant shall be eligible to be admitted by the High Court to practise law in Saint Lucia.
- Upon the publication of the Order in the Gazette, an application can be filed at the High Court on behalf of the applicant.
- The application ought to be supported by affidavit evidence proving that the applicant:
- is at least 18 years of age;
- is of good character;
(c) does not have a criminal record except if it is for a minor traffic offence;
(d) is not declared to be bankrupt by a court; and
(e) has paid the prescribed fee.
- The Application ought to be filed with due haste (within a reasonable time).
- The High Court shall, if it is satisfied, admit that applicant to be admitted to practise law in Saint Lucia.