Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Keeping Up Standards

In today's Nation there is an article whereby the Central Bank of Seychelles is warning the public about pamphlets that are being circulated in Seychelles advertising banking and insurance services from an entity which is, according to the Central Bank, not licensed to carry out banking or insurance services in Seychelles. The article goes on to state that an offence may have been committed.

It is good to see that at least some authorities are doing their job in policing licensable activity. The Legal Practitioner's Act ("LPA") makes it an offence for anyone to represent themselves as being able to provide legal services in Seychelles if they are not appropriately qualified.

For example, this practice of Government Departments/Ministries and parastatals having legal officers who actually give legal advice or draft contracts would fall foul of the law if they are not appropriately qualified. The Government should be addressing all legal queries to the Attorney General's Chambers/Department of Legal Affairs. Then there are the corporate service providers, entities that establish and maintain International Business Companies. Although some do other work as well, the reality is that the bulk of their work is clerical in nature, but some are calling themselves law firms and some of their employees even believe that they are lawyers and are calling themselves such, obviously in breach of the LPA. The worst part is that many of these corporate service providers blatantly advertise themselves as being able to provide legal services and nothing is done by the authorities to stop and punish such acts.

Fortunately, there is no prescription period or time bar to prosecute individuals who commit a criminal offence. Individuals may be imprisoned for up to 5 years if found guilty of the offence of representing themselves as being able to provide legal services in Seychelles.

The Robing Room is the official blog of the Seychelles Legal Environment Website (, the only website about the Seychelles Legal Environment that is constantly updated.

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