Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has asserted that the single most important focus for countries in their development is the rule of law.
Chastanet was addressing today’s opening session of the 13th Regional Law Conference of the OECS Bar Association.
The event was held at the Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Spa and Beach Resort.
He said to applause from the gathering that he valued the role that those in attendance are playing in the economic development of the region.
“I applaud you,” Chastanet declared.
He said his understanding of the objective of the gathering of legal minds is that it provides the opportunity for members of the profession to retool, refresh and keep up to date with new developments in law, as well as facilitate networking and the building of strategic alliances among members and organizations within the legal profession.
“In any profession, the need to remain current and relevant is a critical element for continuing certification as a practitioner especially in this competitive environment in which we all must function,” the Saint Lucia Prime Minister told his audience.
He commended the regional bar for recognizing this and making the conference a part of its programme of activities.
Chastanet said the conference may allow those in attendance time to discuss the many issues confronting the bar and the judiciary in the region, and perhaps propose some solutions which may be considered within the constraints of available resources.
According to Chastanet, he is acutely aware of the many requirements necessary to reach a situation where the facilities to ensure the dispensation of justice are at least commensurate with acceptable standards.
He noted that in Saint Lucia conditions are still far from ideal.
However the Prime Minister asserted that the conditions did not materialize overnight, but are the result of many years of lack of or insufficient investment in the institutions of justice.
“We can no longer continue to ignore this, since it will not go away,” he said.
Chastanet observed that all must play their part in ensuring that the justice system improves.
“A modern, progressive and fair society will not happen otherwise,” he said.