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- Legal System
Due to its history of both French and English colonisation, Saint Lucia has a hybrid legal system. New laws based on the English Common Law system were grafted onto the prevailing system of French Civil Law. Saint Lucia has an independent judiciary formed of magistrates’ courts, district courts and a High Court. Appeals are conducted first to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, and ultimately to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London. The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court is based in Saint Lucia and is the Supreme Court for member states in the region.
Lawyers who trained in Saint Lucia are qualified to act as both solicitors and barristers; the umbrella term is attorney-at-law.
To standardise legal education in the Caribbean region the governments of Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands are members of the Council of Legal Education (CLE). The CLE has three law schools in the region based in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and the Bahamas. Qualifications attained through the Law Society of England and Wales and General Council of the Bar of England and Wales are considered acceptable. Other foreign qualified lawyers must take a six month conversion course.
Bar associations in the region are represented by two larger unifying bodies, the Organisation of Commonwealth Caribbean Bar Associations (OCCBA) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Bar Association. The Saint Lucia Bar Association is represented by both larger organisations. In 2012 there were ten legal practitioners at the public bar and some 55 at the private bar. There are numerous law firms in Saint Lucia, mainly in Castries, with well-established firms including Peter I Foster & Associates.
Not included in the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2012–13.