President of the Dominica Bar Association (DBA), Heather Felix Evans is demanding that lawyers play more active roles in the association.
She says less than 20 of the law practitioners in Dominica are active members of the DBA.
This was expressed during her address at the ceremonial opening of the new law year on Monday.
Evans sees 2020 as an opportune time for new beginnings and for lawyers to reflect on their involvement and commit to activities of the DBA.
“The Bar association has important public functions to perform. It is in the public’s interest that Dominica has a strong and active Bar Association. Our association cannot fully and effectively perform its functions and responsibilities if only a few members actively participate,” she pleaded.
Evans continued, “Today, we have 80 lawyers who are in the Commonwealth of Dominica engaging in legal practice in some way, shape or form. Very few, but to be more precise, less than one quarter are paid up members of the Bar Association and participate in bar activities. How is Dominica Bar Association to function effectively if at all with so few on board? The few who are members cannot and should not be expected to do everything.”
She reminds that the association cannot stand alone and increased participation would be of great benefit to the court as well as the public.
“The association needs you onboard to be properly functioning and effective body. It is time to be part of the solution. We need your ideas and opinions, we need your abilities, we need your guidance, we need your support. We would be honored and be made much richer with your company as members of the Bar Association. The legal professions, the administration of justice, the judiciary and the public will benefit tremendously if we work as a unit, rather than separately.”
The official ceremonial opening of the New Law year was held at the High Court.