Firms should not be obliged to do pro bono work as a pre-requisite for gaining government contracts, solicitor general Oliver Heald has said.He was responding to suggestions earlier in the week that the government emulate the Australian example of requiring firms conducting government work to commit to pro bono. Speaking at a University of Law event, Heald said a lot of firms already do pro bono of their own volition. ‘[Pro bono] is important in deciding the contracts government lets,’ he said. ‘But my feeling is voluntarism is the heart and soul of it.’He said the growth in pro bono work is not entirely down to legal aid cuts as it has been an expanding area for decades. ‘I gained valuable experience during my student days by taking part in pro bono work. It really is a win-win situation both for students, who are given the opportunity to use their legal knowledge and skills in a real-life context,’ he said.Heald also told students that the profession is undergoing huge changes. ‘In some ways it is the best and worst of times,’ he said. The new regulatory climate creates opportunities for the profession, such as barristers being able to partner with legal executives and do work abroad, he said. ‘The new ABS [approach] will change law in many ways,’ he said. He predicted that ABSs could become a common feature of the high streets with non-legal businesses such as the Co-op underpinning them financially.
UWP supporters at a rally in St Joseph on Sunday 30 November 2014Political leader of the Opposition United Workers Party (UWP), Lennox Linton has invited his supporters to join him on a visit to the Electoral Commission later today.Mr Linton, during a radio program on Thursday 11 December 2014, called on his supporters especially those from the Grand Fond Constituency to join him on the 2:30PM visit to seek clarification on the winner of the Grand Fond/Morne Jaune/Riviere Cyrique seat.“There are a number of questions that the Electoral Commission must answer now about the conduct of the election in the Grand Fond/Morne Jaune/Riviere Cyrique Constituency and why are things the way they are right now,” Mr Linton said. He said the UWP needs answers regarding the manner in which the election was conducted in the Grand Fond Constituency “because as far as we know, all of the agents, all of the poll clerks and the presiding officers and the returning officers and the election clerks and so on around Dominica, get the same training, they’re supposed to be doing the same thing”.He said returning officers and election clerks cannot act as either a presiding officer or a poll clerk; however this occurred in Monday’s election.“There was one such example of an elections clerk involving herself in functions that the law prohibits her from involving herself in, the Electoral Commission, the Chief Elections Officer must explain to us the people of Dominica why was that allowed to happen,” Mr Linton said. Additionally, he said the Electoral Commission could have sent “an independent group that had nothing to do with the Constituency” to manage the recount of the votes “when it became obvious that we were dealing with people who were not being fair and not being impartial in their conduct of the count”.“Where are the other returning officers and the other election clerks around Dominica? Why couldn’t you get one or two of them to come in and to look about this instead of leaving it to people who were obviously partisan,” Mr Linton questioned.“So we have questions about those observations and those impressions we have we want to pose to the Chairman of the Commission and the Chief Elections Officer and I will be going to the Commission’s office tomorrow afternoon”.“I am inviting the people who share the concerns that we have in United Workers Party Team Dominica; whether you are from Morne Jaune, Riviere Cyrique, Grand Fond or you’re from somewhere else around Dominica because that fight is the people’s fight,” Mr Linton noted.Moreover, Danny Lugay, the winner of the Roseau North Constituency, who was also on the radio program with Mr Linton, invited his supporters to join today’s meeting.“Roseau North; your new Parliamentary Representative, I am inviting you out to join our captain to get answers from the Commission”.Mr Lugay informed that the Roseau North Constituency will join the meeting since they too have “concerns” about the manner in which the election took place there.“Sometimes you wonder if it’s a conspiracy why there’s so much inefficiencies in the Electoral Office and certainly Roseau North will be coming out to join our team captain to get answers from the Commission,” Mr Lugay said. Chief Elections Officer, Stephen LaRocque declined to comment on the matter. 497 Views 5 comments Share Share LocalNews UWP supporters to visit Electoral Commission by: Dominica Vibes News – December 12, 2014 Tweet Sharing is caring! Share