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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Autonomy of Supreme Court Is Good for V.I.

Dear Source:
Through this medium I wish to convey congratulations to the three Justices who were invested on the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands on Tuesday 19 December 2006. They are all well qualified and experienced and will perform well on the bench. They all have appellate experience. I am sure that they will cases much sooner than heretofore where certain cases were appealed to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The institution of this Appellate Court is an integral element in the process of the advancement of self-governance. Under the leadership of the late Governor Ralph M. Paiewonsky and the late Senator Earle B..Ottley, the long road to acquire the autonomy we now enjoy began in the early 1960s. It commenced with the elected governor and delegate to the congress and a series of fiscal provisions. Although the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands emanated as a purely local initiative, it fits into the road map on political autonomy.
The legal process is now clearer; the U. S. District Court will hear cases of Federal Jurisdiction and the local courts (which have concurrent jurisdiction with the District Court), will hear those matters of local jurisdiction and appeals of local matters will be made right up to the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands and it will not be necessary to appeal to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Eric E. Dawson
Viera, Florida

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