Biography

Ronald Scipio was born in Guyana and emigrated to the United Kingdom with his parents at a young age. He completed his secondary education in London and commenced his legal education and training in 1981. He attended the University of Westminster, as it is now known, and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws Degree Honours (1st Division) in 1984.

Mr. Scipio was awarded the Master of Laws Degree (with Merit) by the University of London in 2000 having undertaken a programme in Commercial and Corporate Law. He completed the Solicitors’ Final Examination in 1986 and was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England & Wales in 1988.

Mr. Scipio was called to the Bar of England & Wales in 2002 by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple following his decision to transfer to the Bar.

He was appointed Queen’s Counsel by Letters Patent on 15th May 2006.

Prior to entering the legal profession Mr. Scipio pursued a successful musical career for several years, an area in which he continues to have an interest (reflected professionally in his interest in the field of entertainment law).

Professional Experience

Mr. Scipio commenced his legal career as a trainee solicitor with a respected firm in South London in 1986. He subsequently became a partner in that firm in 1989. As a solicitor Mr. Scipio developed an extensive and respected criminal and civil practice. Serious criminal matters in which he received instructions included murder, soliciting murder, rape, armed robbery. His civil practice included personal injury, company and commercial, breach of contract, property, matrimonial and probate matters.

Mr. Scipio was admitted to the Guyana Bar as an Attorney-at-Law in 1994. He discontinued his legal practice in London in 1995 (to fulfill the long held desire to return to the Caribbean) and took up the post of Principal Crown Counsel in the Attorney General’s Chambers of Anguilla. As Principal Crown Counsel he was the second most senior lawyer in the Attorney General’s Chambers, after the Attorney General. His duties included prosecuting serious criminal matters on behalf of the Crown and responding to appeals against conviction and sentence before the OECS Court of Appeal. Duties also extended to commencing and defending civil claims brought by and against the Crown, including constitutional motions, personal injury, breach of contract, forfeiture and defamation.

Mr. Scipio was appointed to the substantive post of Attorney General of Anguilla in April 1998 having acted in that capacity since September 1997. He demitted office on 30th November 2006 and is currently Anguilla’s longest serving Attorney General.

As Attorney General, Mr. Scipio was head of the Anguilla Bar and - the principal Law Officer and legal advisor to the Government of Anguilla. His duties included advising His Excellency the Governor on his responsibilities under the Anguilla Constitution as Her Majesty's representative in an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. Also advising Ministers of Government on the legal aspects and constitutionality of all matters of Government, including policy, law, new and amending legislation, major contractual undertakings relating, in particular, to major tourism development projects on Anguilla. As an ex-officio member of the House of Assembly (the Legislature), Mr. Scipio had responsibility for the drafting of new legislation and the introduction and guidance of such legislation through the House. He also provided advice to the Speaker and the House generally on constitutional and procedural matters.

Constitutionally, the Attorney General of Anguilla is a non-political appointee and exercises the functions of a Director of Public Prosecutions in criminal matters, and of a Solicitor General in civil matters involving the Crown. Mr. Scipio had the responsibility for the successful prosecution of several high profile murder cases. He has also successfully defended or settled several high profile constitutional motions including challenges to the Crown’s unlimited right of standby; the removal of the privilege granted to defendants to make unsworn statement from the dock; the monopoly by the telecommunications service provider, Cable & Wireless monopoly in the context of freedom of expression (settled with Cable & Wireless accepting the concept of liberalisation).

Mr. Scipio led the process for the Consolidation and Revision of the laws of Anguilla between 1997 and 2000. The said Consolidation and Revision broke new ground in the region by utilizing the booklet format for publishing laws rather than the bound volumes format which had proved wasteful with previous revision exercises. One significant development was the decision to develop an electronic data base and make the laws available on CD ROM (https://www.anguillalaws.com/Law.asp). Another significant development was the decision to implement a biennial revision programme in-house (i.e. within the Attorney General's Chambers) to keep the laws and regulations up to date on an ongoing basis.

Mr. Scipio continued as Law Revision Commissioner for the continuing biennial consolidation and revision of the statutes and regulations of Anguilla published respectively in 2002, 2004  and   2006. The Revised Statutes and Regulations of Anguilla (together with the biennial revision) have facilitated the practice of law in Anguilla and the project now serves as a model for the Caribbean region, if not the world.

Mr. Scipio also pioneered the establishment in 2007 of the Regional Law Revision Centre in Anguilla serving three UK Overseas Territories, Anguilla, Montserrat and Turks & Caicos Islands, with the ultimate aim of providing law revision services to the Caribbean Region

As the principal Law Officer Mr. Scipio was occasionally called upon by the High Court to act as amicus curiae, particularly on difficult issues of interpretation of the provisions of the Anguilla Constitution. Two such high profile matters involved the exercise by the Speaker of his powers in relation to the procedures of the Anguilla House of Assembly.

Mr. Scipio has now returned to private practice in Anguilla after some nine years as Attorney General, and will be providing consultancy services and practicing from the offices of the law firm of Caribbean Associated Attorneys.

 

P.O. Box 1056, The Valley, Anguilla, British West Indies
Tel: 264 497 2766 E-mail: ronaldrs@anguillanet.com