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Attorney General announces new Senior Legal Appointments

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Providenciales, TCI, September 14, 2016 – On Wednesday, July 20, 2016, in Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands, Hon. Attorney General Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles announced four new senior legal appointments within the Attorney General’s Chambers.
 
Three new appointments as Principal Crown Counsel saw Mrs. Khalila Astwood-Tatem becoming the first Principal Crown Counsel with responsibility for International matters, Ms. Yaa McCartney as the Principal Crown Counsel with responsibility for commercial matters and Ms. Clemar Hippolyte taking the reins as Principal Crown Counsel with responsibility for litigation.
 First, Mrs. Khalila Astwood-Tatem, a Grand Turk native, practiced for many years in the Bahamas, first as an Associate and then as a Partner at Evans & Co. Now, she returns home to the Turks and Caicos Islands Attorney General’s Chambers, where she became Senior Crown Counsel and then Principal Crown Counsel and lead on commercial matters. Through training and development opportunities, Mrs. Astwood-Tatem has gained quality experience and expertise in commercial law. These include; Development Agreements, land acquisition, public-private partnerships, company law, civil litigation and appeals, industrial relations and employment, probate and wills, real property and conveyancing, personal Injuries. Whilst also offering  legal advice/opinions on a wide spectrum of issues such as; constitutional and administrative law, international compliance, combatting anti-money laundering, and mutual legal assistance.  As lead in this new division on international initiatives which have an impact on domestic law, such as the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and Exchange of information for Tax Purposes, Mrs. Astwood-Tatem’s experience make her best suited to take on responsibility for responding to international requests; advising on international conventions and agreements and advising on various issues which touch and concern international law and international relations.
Second, the daughter of the Turks and Caicos Islands’ sole national hero, Ms. Yaa McCartney has a legacy of public service.  Ms McCartney joined the Attorney General’s Chambers right out of law school and practiced first as a criminal prosecutor for many years prosecuting criminal trials and appeals in all courts in the Turks and Caicos Islands before rising to the level of Senior Crown Counsel conducting civil litigation before all of the courts and tribunals on behalf of the Government and statutory bodies as well as dealing with complex commercial agreements and advices.  Training and development opportunities have contributed to Ms. McCartney’s skills in the areas of criminal prosecutions, civil and commercial litigation, employment law, advice and opinion writing, and the drafting and negotiation of commercial agreements which will serve her well in her new role as lead on commercial matters.
 Third, Ms. Clemar Hippolyte hails from St. Lucia where she worked first as an Associate at Larcher Barnard & Associates then McNamara & Company thereby gaining a wealth of experience in administrative law, employment law, judicial review, civil and commercial litigation, personal injury, commercial contract negotiation, opinions and mediation before joining the Attorney General’s Chambers as Senior Crown Counsel.  Ms. Hippolyte’s quality experience in litigation matters, especially before the Courts of the Turks and Caicos Islands is a particular asset in her new role.
Finally, as the new Deputy Attorney General, Dr. Michael Dillon is responsible for the management of the legal and administrative work flow within the Attorney General’s Chambers.  Dr. Michael Dillon originates from Dublin Ireland where he authored the first and leading textbook on the law of intoxication, Law of Intoxication as a defence to violent and non-violent offences as an exhaustive and practical analysis of the current law of Ireland, England and Wales, United States of America, Canada, Scotland, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
 A practicing barrister appearing on a near daily basis before courts, tribunals and decision-makers for many years in Criminal and Civil litigation, Dr. Dillon brings to the Attorney General’s Chambers in the Turks and Caicos Islands, significant advisory experience involving opinion work.  He has expertise in criminal law especially involving any issue of intoxication or mental disorder, significant Judicial review experience, commercial law including franchise law and breach of confidentiality, mental health law, administrative law, professional negligence, financial services law, personal injuries, human rights and civil liberties, and constitutional law.
Dr. Dillon has worked in Ireland, the United States of America, England and Wales, and Australia.
In announcing these new appointments, the Attorney General said; “Over the last few years we have made great progress in developing the professional staff, legal resources and better service delivery standards in the provision of quality legal work. The professional development of the Chambers continues to improve, along with a solid reputation of responsiveness to the legal needs of the public sector.”
“As the Chambers continues to evolve, the skills of the professional staff in particular will be critical in managing our operational effectiveness.  These individuals bring to their new appointments the experience and expertise needed to meet the challenges of their new responsibilities through proven track records of quality legal expertise in practice, leadership, team building, financial and relationship management.  I am very pleased with the appointments of these new additions to our senior management team.”
 

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Bahamas News

Agreement inked between Bahamas and Dubai

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#DUBAI, UAE, January 18, 2022 – A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Hon. Fred Mitchell and His Excellency Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, today in Dubai.

The signing of this MOU begins a fruitful relationship between The Bahamas and the UAE. The UAE government is committed to providing technical assistance through their Technical Assistance Programme.  Embedded in the agreement, is a provision that at least fifty percent of the participants in the training programme are women.

Both The Bahamas and UAE are committed to working together on several fronts for the mutual advancement of both countries. The exchange of information will be invaluable as The Bahamas continues to push through the setbacks of the pandemic toward national and economic growth.

 

Photo Caption: Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas the Hon. Philip Davis, centre, Minister Mitchell, left, and HE Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan.

(Photo/OPM Communications)

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Bahamas News

MP’s Graduate with Parliamentary Governance Certificates

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January 18, 2022 – The Caribbean Democrat Union (CDU), in partnership with the Conservatives Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) Programme, held an Online Graduation Ceremony on Friday January 14th 2022 for fifteen (15) Members of Parliament who successfully completed a one year certificate programme in Parliamentary Governance with McGill University in Canada.

This professional development certificate programme is recognized by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and provided MP’s with important theoretical and practical knowledge in executing their roles and responsibilities as legislators. Sponsorship for the MP’s was provided by the Conservatives WFD Programme.

The successful graduates included:

  • Tracy Panton– MP Albert, UDP, Belize
  • Shyne Barrow – MP, Mesopotamia, UDP, Belize
  • Senator Hon. Sheena Pitts – UDP, Belize
  • Kerensia Morrison – MP St. Catherine North Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Tova Hamilton – MP, Trelawny Northern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Dr. Michelle Charles – MP, St. Thomas Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Tamika Davis – MP, Hanover Western, JLP, Jamaica
  • Rhoda Crawford – MP, Manchester Central, JLP, Jamaica
  • Anne Marie Vaz – MP, Portland Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Krstyal Lee – MP, St. Anne North Western, JLP, Jamaica
  • Robert Miller – MP St. Catherine South Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Heroy Clarke – MP, St. James Central, JLP, Jamaica
  • Dwight Sibblies – MP, Clarendon Northern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Morland Wilson – MP, Westmoreland Western, JLP, Jamaica
  • Senator Hon. Shevern John – NDP, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The Online Graduation Ceremony was attended by The Most Hon. Andrew Holness Prime Minister of Jamaica, Maria Miller Conservative MP UK, Dr. Hon. Godwin Friday Leader of the Opposition St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Hon. Patrick Faber Leader of the Opposition Belize, Carola Weil Dean of Continuing Studies McGill University, Nick Francis Secretary General CDU, and other officials from the UK Conservative Party’s International Department and Faculty and Staff from McGill University.

Mr. Nick Francis in his remarks at the ceremony noted that this initiative was birthed through greater engagement and consultation with stakeholders in the region in light of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and he was grateful to the administrators at McGill University for partnering with the CDU and the Conservatives WFD Programme to make this online training possible.

Hon. Patrick Faber and Dr. Hon. Godwin Friday extended congratulations to the graduates and expressed gratitude to the Conservatives WFD Programme, the CDU and McGill University on this successful collaboration to enhance parliamentary democracy in their respective countries.

A second cohort of trainees will commence the Parliamentary Governance Certificate with McGill University in March of this year and will include young prospective MP’s.

Quotes:

Dean of Continuing Studies at McGill University Carola Weil extended congratulations to the fifteen (15) MP’s for successfully completing the yearlong certificate programme in Parliamentary Governance and noted that this was an “important step towards the continuation of good governance and democracy around the world”

In addressing the graduates at the ceremony, Prime Minster the Most Hon. Andrew Holness noted his expectations that the training received will help to inform their advocacy, guide their involvement in policy development, and “contribute to a new cadre of political representatives that will always strive for the highest standards of excellence in governance, in parliamentary practice, and in political representation.”

Conservative MP Maria Miller UK in a pre-recorded message to the graduates (the majority being new female MP’s) noted that in light of the challenges facing women in politics, “the Conservative WFD Programme is committed to strengthening democracy by creating a much more inclusive, accountable and transparent political system.”

 

Press Release: CDU

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Education

Education Minister announces Platinum Partnerships for internet and tablet program amidst COVID surge

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By Shaniek Smith

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 15, 2022 – Schools did not resume in person learning in the Turks and Caicos on January 4, instead it was back to virtual classes for 7,400 children in the British overseas territory due to an omicron-driven surge in Covid-19 infections.

It was announced on the New Year’s Day holiday for TCI, January 3 in a press conference hosted by Rachel Taylor, the Minister of Education, and attended by Jamell Robinson, Minister of Health and supported by Premier Washington Misick, who was also at the live event.

In a promised update, parents got the not-so-good-news, virtual classes would resume at least until the end of January due to the surge and staff shortages being experienced.  Turks and Caicos, up to Thursday January 14 had over 800 active cases, five new deaths and a 600 per cent increase in hospitalisations.  The Minister said the decision was in the interest of safety.

The Minister also promised to get devices and internet to students in order for them to participate in learning during this virtual-only season.  The press conference on January 13, welcomed partners Flow, Digicel and the Pine Cay Project.

In her address, chair of the Pine Cay Project, Marie Landel, said that an urgent call from Dr. Carlton Mills, a member of their board of trustees revealed that about 750 students would be without internet connection and devices.

The Pine Cay Project responded to that information and has agreed to pay for internet for 30 days students, with its partner in the initiative, DigicelTCI.  It is an $18,000 investment in education continuity for hundreds of children.

“We had strong discussions on what we should do with the money that we collect every year, so yesterday we agreed to the funding in emergency situation of 300 internet connections and devices that are going to help the students in need, and we’re very proud to be able to act quickly,” Landel expressed.

Additionally, the Marketing Manager at Digicel TCI, Mr Drexler Smith, said Digicel has partnered with the Ministry of Education to provide about 1,000 tablets for public schools. Smith added that 75 MiFi devices valued at 7,000 dollars were provided; they come with free data services for up to three months for students in need.

Digicel has also created a special education plan for e-learning with specific zero-rated sites and applications. The company partnered with Pine Cay and other private entities in this regard. Various schools and educational facilities in South Caicos, Five Cays, and Providenciales have benefitted from laptops, data plans, MiFi’s, and e-learning kits.

Marketing Executive Flow TCI, Darron Hilaire, also shared the contributions Flow made to the education sector since the pandemic.

“Within the last three years, Flow TCI, through our charitable foundation, would have donated $130,000 worth of ICT equipment to 2 schools respectively in Grand Turk and in Providenciales for the outfitting of the new computer labs to help facilitate the ministry’s vision to foster an efficient e-learning environment for students,” he said.

Mr. Hilaire added that within the first year of the pandemic, Flow responded to requests from the Ministry to increase the bandwidth to public schools in the TCI. Hilaire said Flow home internet speed doubles automatically at no cost to its customers in early July.

He said that within the last 60 days, Flow TCI announced a recent donation of $25,000 dollars to two schools in North Caicos and one in Providenciales. The donation was in aid of increasing connectivity and infrastructural upgrades.

“As we come to the end of this phase of the project, our objective is to look at doing the same for other schools in the second phase of the projects to further arm our schools with the access to technology to provide the best quality education to students,” Hilaire added.

Amanyara Resort, not present at the press event, was said to be working on additional laptops for hundreds of children despite having already donated to several schools in Providenciales.

Minister Rachel Taylor and her team, including Eugene Grant, ICT Education Officer at the Ministry of Education and Mark Garland, Deputy Director of Education thanked the donors; they were labelled Platinum Partners by the Minister.

 

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