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Rules of the OECS Bar Association

WHEREAS at a meeting of the Presidents and/or their representatives of the Bar Associations of the countries comprised in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and Anguilla held on the 21st day of June, 1989, at Castries, it was resolved that it was necessary and desirable that a body should be set up to represent all the Associations and for this purpose the meeting should constitute itself a Steering Committee to take appropriate measures to establish such a body.

AND WHEREAS at a meeting of the said Steering Committee held at Dickenson Bay, Antigua, on the 21st day of October, 1989, at which the Bar Association of the Virgin Islands was represented and accepted as a member of the Steering Committee it was resolved that a constitution be drafted for adoption by the said Associations and that of the Virgin Islands and that the same shall come into force upon acceptance thereof by a majority thereof.

NOW THEREFORE IT IS HEREBY AGREED AND DECLARED that upon adoption by a majority of the Bar Association of the countries comprising the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, Virgin Islands and Anguilla that there shall be established a body known as the Bar Association of the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States, Virgin Islands and Anguilla otherwise called the OECS Bar ASSOCIATION with the constitution following:

  • NAME
    There shall be an organization which shall be known as the Organization of Eastern Caribbean Bar Associations (hereinafter referred to as "OECS Bar").

  • MEMBERSHIP
    Constituent Membership
    • Any representative Bar Association in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines as at the 21st October, 1989, shall be deemed to be Constituent members.
    • The term "Bar Association" shall include any association of legal practitioners in any such territory provided that where in any particular territory the legal profession is divided between barristers and solicitors, the term "Bar Association" shall include organizations of barristers and/or solicitors. References to the Bar shall be construed accordingly.
    • Any representative Bar Association established after the 21St October, 1989, may apply to the Council as hereinafter defined by letter addressed to the Secretary for constituent membership
    • Where any Bar Association applies to be a constituent member it shall submit in support of its application a list of its membership in good standing certified by a qualified accountant or Registrar of the Supreme court of the relevant territory.
    • Where any dispute arises as to which of two or more Bar Associations of a particular territory should be admitted or retained as a constituent member, the Secretary shall require the relevant Bar Association of that territory to submit a list of its members in good standing certified by a qualified accountant or Registrar of the Supreme Court of the relevant territory. The Association which in the judgement of the Council, has the largest membership of legal practitioners in that territory shall be admitted or retained as a constituent member as the case may be.
  • Honorary Membership:
    • On the recommendation of the Executive Committee as hereinafter defined, honorary members may be elected at a meeting of the Council over and above the complement of ordinary and constituent members.
    • A two-thirds majority of members present and voting shall be necessary to ensure election. Honorary members may be elected for life or such period as the Council may deem fit. They shall be entitled to all the privileges of membership.

  • Individual Membership:
    • Any legal practitioner admitted to practice in any of the countries comprised in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, the Virgin Islands or Anguilla and who is a member of the Bar Association of any of these territories, may be admitted to individual membership of the OECS Bar. An individual member shall be entitled to all the privileges of membership except that he shall not be entitled to vote on resolutions for the amendment of the Constitution and, if not an accredited representative of a constituent member, he shall not be eligible for election as an officer of the OECS Bar without the written recommendation of the Bar Association of which he is a member.

  • AIMS AND OBJECTS
    The aims and objects of the OECS Bar shall be as follows:-
    • To be concerned with questions of human rights, justice and the rule of law and to undertake any action which In its judgement may contribute to the protection and preservation of these and other fundamental conditions for a well ordered society.
    • To deal with all matters affecting the legal profession and to take such action thereon as may be deemed expedient so as to promote, preserve, and protect its Interests and the interests of its members.
    • To act as representatives of the constituent members whenever desirable or appropriate; to develop, recommend and promulgate rules relating to professional conduct; to encourage and assist the establishment of procedures for resolving complaints against members of the profession and constituent members inter se; and to undertake conciliatory and adjudicatory functions in matters of professional discipline conferred upon it by consent, by Statute or by any competent authority.
    • To maintain the honour and independence of the Bar and to defend the Bar in its relations with the Judiciary the Executive and the Legislature.
    • To support the independence of the Judiciary and to maintain cordial relate among members of the Bar and between the Bar and the Bench.
    • To promote the improvement of the administration of justice.
    • To promote and report on legislation in the area, to promote uniformity in appropriate fields where practicable; and to promote and support desirable measures of law reform.
    • To express the collective opinion of the Bar in such quarters as it is deemed from time to time to be desirable and to make or support representations to government, the Judiciary and other appropriate bodies on questions affecting the legal profession.
    • To co-operate with and promote co-ordination among legal societies and organizations having similar objects.
    • To encourage good relations and understanding between the Bar and the Public.
    • To protect the public right of access to the Courts, the representation by Counsel before Courts and other tribunals and the rights and privileges of the Bar in relation thereto.
    • To promote, encourage and improve legal education, study of jurisprudence, legal literature and law reporting.
    • To encourage the establishment of schemes of legal aid.
      To encourage the establishment of benevolent funds for indigent members of the Bar.
  • THE COUNCIL
    • The affairs and business of the OECS Bar shall be managed and controlled by a body to be called the Council of the Bar Association of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (hereinafter called "the Council").
    • Each constituent member shall designate and appoint two persons one of whom shall be a president to be the representatives of that member on the Council. Provided that where there are two or more constituent members they shall jointly designate and appoint two persons to be their representatives on the Council.
    • The Secretary of each constituent member shall notify the Secretary of the OECS Bar of the names and addresses of the persons appointed to represent the new Association on the Council as soon as possible after such appointment.
    • Representatives on the Council shall be appointed for a term of two years and shall be eligible for reappointment.
    • If a representative on the Council shall for any cause be unable to attend any meeting thereof, the constituent member by which such representative was appointed may appoint some other member of that or any other constituent member to act as his alternate and in such capacity to attend and vote at such meeting. No such appointment shall be effective unless the Secretary of the OECS Bar has received written notification thereof from the constituent member.
    • The Council shall be deemed to be duly constituted notwithstanding any vacancies that may arise or exist.
    • Every officer of the OECS Bar shall be a member of the Council.
    • At all meetings of the Council seven (7) members shall form a quorum.
  • EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:
    • There shall be an Executive Committee of the OECS Bar consisting of the Officers of the OECS Bar and the President or elected head of each constituent member as ex officio members. Subject to the authority and directions of the Council, the Executive Committee shall be the administrative body of the OECS Bar and shall have authority to take any action which the Council itself might have taken, not inconsistent with the Rules of the OECS Bar or with any action taken or direction given by the Council.
    • The Executive Committee shall meet at such times and at such places as may be designated by the President of the OECS Bar and shall have power to regulate its proceedings.
    • The Executive Comminee shall fill any casual vacancy among the officers of the OECS Bar until the next meetind of the Council when the vacancy shall be tilled.
  • OFFICERS:
    • There shall be the following officers of the OECS Bar:-
      • Two Vice-Presidents
      • A Secretary
      • A Treasurer who may also hold the office of Secretary
    • The officers shall be elected at the Biennial General Meeting of the OECS Bar from among the members of the Council.
    • The Officers shall hold office until their successors shall have been duly elected in their stead.
      • Officers shall be eligible for re-election.
    • Subject to paragraph (v) here, every officer and every representative on the Council shall remain as such until:
      • his successor has been duly appointed; or
      • he is appointed to a post in the government service, or
      • he by writing resigns; or
      • he ceases to be a member of a constituent member, or
      • except in the case of an officer his appointment is revoked by the constituent member which appointed him.
    • Every officer shall be elected by a show of hands provided that the meeting may by a simple majority decide that the election of any officer shall be by secret ballot.
    • Any officer may be removed by the Council before the expiry of the term which he was elected by a three-fourths majority of the votes cast by members present and voting on a resolution seeking such removal.
    • Casual vacancies of representatives on the Council shall be filled on notice from the Council by the member. Association by which the vacating representative has been appointed.
    • Casual vacancies among officers shall be filled from among members of the Council.
  • GENERAL AND SPECIAL MEETINGS:
    • There shall be a Biennial General Meeting of the OECS Bar and such meetings of the Council to be held at such time and place as may be determined by the President in consultation with the Vice-Presidents: Provided that such meetings shall be held in rotation in each of the countries of the constituent members and In alphabetical order save that the order may be varied For special reasons from time to time by the Executive Committee.
    • The following may attend and speak at the Biennial General Meeting but shall not be entitled to vote on any question:
      • any individual member;
      • such other persons as the President may from time to time authorise.
    • At such Biennial General Meeting the election of officers shall take place.
    • The President may at any time and shall, on the written request of not less man three constituent members, summon a special meeting of the OECS Bar at such time and place as he shall prescribe.
    • Notice in writing as hereinafter provided of every Biennial or Special Meeting of the OECS Bar shall be given by the Secretary of the Council to the Secretary of every constituent member and to each member entitled to attend.
    • A Biennial General Meeting and any Special Mqeting shall be deemed to be duly convened if notice thereof with the agenda be posted by registered post to the Secretary of every constituent member not less than twenty-one (21) days before the date of the meeting. Failure to give notice to any other member entitled to attend shall not invalidate any such meeting.
      • Subject to the provisions of Rule 12 hereof any member of the Council shall be at liberty to bring forward for discussion at any meeting of the OECS Bar any resolution, provided that notice thereof in writing be given to the Secretary not less than ten (10) days before the date of the meeting.
    • On the receipt of any such notice the Secretary shall forthwith send a copy thereof to the Secretary of each constituent member: Provided, however, that with leave of the President any resolution may be brought forward for discussion notwithstanding the absence of such notice.
    • The Treasurer shall submit an audited statement of the accounts of the OECS Bar at the Biennial General Meeting of the OECS Bar.
    • The President shall submit a report of the activities of the OECS Bar to the Biennial General Meeting.
    • The President shall act as Chairman of the Council and General Meeting of t~. OECS Bar and have an original and a casting vote.
    • In the absence of the President the meeting shall elect a Chairman from among the Vice-Presidents present and willing to act and such person shall have all powers of the President during the period of such meetings.
    • In the absence of the President and Vice-Presidents the meeting shall elect a Chairman from among the members of the Council present and willing to act and such person shall have all powers of the President for the period of such meeting.
    • The Secretary shall enter in appropriate books a record of the proceedings of each meeting of the OECS Bar and the Council.
    • A General Meeting of the OECS Bar shall be deemed to be duly convened if notice thereof with the agenda be posted to the Secretary of every constituent member and to every individual member and honorary member not less than twenty one (21) days before the date of the meeting.
    • At every General Meeting each constituent member shall be represented by four (4) accredited members including its two members of the Council of the OECS Bar and each such representative shall have the right to speak and vote on all matters.
    • At General Meetings of the OECS Bar ten (10) accredited representatives shall form a quorum but no resolution or motion for election of an officer shall call unless at least 50% of the accredited representatives of constituent members present vote in its favour.
  • POWERS OF THE COUNCIL:
    • The Council shall have the following powers and jurisdiction:
    • To be an accredited representative of the Bar of any territory to which a constituent member belongs and so act upon the request of such constituent member.
    • To preserve and carry out the aims and objects of the OECS Bar.
    • To act in such other matters within its aims and objects as may be referred or assigned to n by any constituent member.
    • From time to time to make, alter and repeal rules for the purpose of regulating the proceedings at its meetings and effectually carrying out its functions.
    • To decide the mode in which effect is to be given to rules made by ft or any question of construction arising thereon.
    • To determine any matter or question on which such rules are silent.
    • To manage the funds of the OECS Bar paying thereout any expenses which it may incur in carrying out the aims and objects of the OECS Bar.
  •  SUBSCRIPTION:
    • There shall be an entrance fee and an annual subscription payable by constituent members including members qualifying under clause 2(a) hereof as follows:
    • An entrance fee shall be the equivalent of EC$500.00.
    • An annual subscription calculated as follows:
      • up to 20 members………………………………………….……EC$250.00
      • over 20 and up to 40 members………………………………EC$500.00
      • 41 and above……………………………………………………...EC$750.00
    • Individual members shall pay an annual subscription equivalent to EC$100.00 but honorary members shall as such be exempt from payment of subscriptions.
    • The entrance fee and first annual subscription shall be payable with the application for membership. All other annual subscriptions shall be due and payable in advance on the 1st day of January in every year.
    • Subscriptions not received within three (3) months of the date on which they are payable shall be deemed to be in arrears.
    • A member whose subscriptions are in arrears shall during the period of such arrears cease to enjoy any of the rights or privileges of membership.
  • PROPERTY OF THE OECS BAR:
    • All property shall vest in trustees or a trust corporation to be appointed by the Council who shall have power to remove and appoint trustees in its sole discretion.
  • ACCOUNTS:
    • The Treasurer shall keep a banking account in the name of the OECS Bar in which all monies received by him shall be deposited. Such account shall be operated by:
      • the President or in his absence any one of the Vice-Presidents and
      • the Treasurer or in his absence any other officer of the OECS Bar appointed by the Executive Committee in that behalf.
    • All payments shall be made by cheque drawn upon the said banking account; Provided however, that the Treasurer may be advanced such sums for petty cash payments as may be approved by the Executive Committee before or after being made.
    • The financial year of the OECS Bar shall end on the 31st of December of each year.
  • AMENDMENT:
    • The Biennial or any Special General Meeting may alter and amend these Rules by a two thirds majority of the constituent members present and voting with each constituent member being entitled to one vote only. Notice of any proposed amendment shall be submitted to the Secretary thirty (30) days before the meeting and the Secretary shall send copies of such proposed amendment to the Secretary of each constituent member together with notice of the Meeting.
  • ADOPTION OF CONSTITUTION:
    • Upon receipt by the Chairman of the Steering Committee of written notice of adoption of these Rules from five. representative Bar Associations the same shall constitute the constitution of the OECS Bar and shall come into force on the date when the fifth of such notices is received. The Chairman shall notify each prospective constituent member 0 the date he received each such notice.
  • TRANSITIONAL:
    • The steering Committee shall take the necessary measures as soon as possible to cause the first Council to be duly constituted and in the meantime may exercise the powers of the Council.


Adopted at the third meeting at the Steering Committee in the Virgin Islands on 7th April 1990.

Aims & Objectives

justice and the rule of law and to undertake any action which In its judgement may contribute to the protection and preservation of these and other fundamental conditions for a well ordered society.
and to take such action thereon as may be deemed expedient so as to promote, preserve, and protect its Interests and the interests of its members.
whenever desirable or appropriate; to develop, recommend and promulgate rules relating to professional conduct; to encourage and assist the establishment of procedures for resolving complaints against members of the profession and constituent members inter se; and to undertake conciliatory and adjudicatory functions in matters of professional discipline conferred upon it by consent, by Statute or by any competent authority.
and to defend the Bar in its relations with the Judiciary the Executive and the Legislature.
and to maintain cordial relate among members of the Bar and between the Bar and the Bench.
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