2 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 413 (1995)
In this article Mr. Bill Maurer addresses a fundamental tension
at work in the British Virgin Islands: while British Virgin Islanders
(BVIslanders) proudly term themselves a "law and order" people
and seek to distinguish themselves from other Caribbean peoples,
the territory remains as wedded as ever to its British rulers and the
West. Mr. Maurer first notes that when a colonial people begins to
view itself as essentially different from its rulers, it may begin a
concomitant move toward self-rule. He shows that while the BVI
exhibits many attributes of such a territory, BVIslanders consider
their ties to Britain a critical element of their uniqueness and thus
self-rule is never seriously discussed.
The author illustrates this paradox by describing the passage
and effects of the BVI's International Business Companies
Ordinance, a law that established the BVI as a tax haven. He
argues that while BVlslanders are proud to call the law their first
truly local one, in fact the local legislature was forced as a result
of this law to submit to increased foreign regulatory scrutiny and
to enact recommendations set out in a Coopers and Lybrand study
commissioned by the British. He next points out that while
BVIslanders support most aspects of the Ordinance, they have
sharply criticized the implementation of a Crown-appointed board
designed to oversee the dependent territories' financial services
sector and guard against drug money laundering and other illicit
activities. Mr. Maurer views this controversy as further evidence of
the B VI's search for a national identity within the locally-accepted
confines of colonial rule.
"Law Writing, Immigration, and Globalization in the British Virgin Islands,"
Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies: Vol. 2
, Article 5.
Available at: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/ijgls/vol2/iss2/5