Sint Eustatius – Acknowledging the disruptive effects of the absence of legal and notarial services on the residents of St. Eustatius, Government Commissioner Alida Francis continues the discussion with Ministry of Justice and Security to have these services restored urgently.
The Ministry of Justice and Security has meanwhile agreed with the President of the Joint Court of Justice to start working on the process to appoint a notary for Saba and Statia. This was confirmed by the President of the Joint Court of Justice, Mr. Mauritsz J. de Kort in a meeting with the Government Commissioner.
Notarial and legal services became a major challenge for the residents of St. Eustatius for the past several years mainly due to the travel restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation became more critical when in the third quarter of 2021 it became known that notary services on the island would scale back.
Recognizing the challenges that this situation poses for the Statian community, including the banking and business sectors, the Government Commissioner raised her concerns with the Ministry of Justice and Security in November 2021 followed up with a formal letter in February 2022, to the Ministry, requesting immediate action. These efforts supported the Public Entity Saba facing the same dilemma, have received the full backing of the Island Council and the financial sector.
Stressing the huge need for a structured service for Statia, the Government Commissioner considered it her duty to ensure this vital service is readily available on island. “There’s a huge need for such services, which come with financial and economic benefits for Statia,” observed Alida Francis. “We recognize the seriousness of the situation and together with the Ministry of Justice and Security are doing everything possible to solve this problem as quickly as possible and to prevent further inconvenience and delay.”
“Notarial services are an indispensable factor for every society, including for the residents in Statia,” stresses Alida Francis. The role of the Joint Court of Justice is to place the advertisement, do the selection of candidates followed by an advice to the Minister of Justice and Security. The vacancy will be issued within the coming two weeks.