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To what extent does English law apply to the British Virgin Islands? This has been a long vexed question and before the Court of Appeal decision in Veda Doyle v Agnes Deane HCVAP was 2011/020 one to which there was no clear answer. While the English common law plainly applies by virtue of section 72 of the Common Law (Declaration of Application) Act, the uncertainty surrounding the application of English statute and rules of court remained unclear. The issue is primarily one of construction and centres around the interpretation and scope of what are called reception provisions. Reception (perhaps inaccurately described) provisions are usually found in the Supreme Court Acts and in some cases Interpretation Acts of some of the Territories and States of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to which the BVI is an associate member. It allows for the reception, where there is a lacunae in the local law, of the practice and in some cases, law, of England.
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Determining the Extent of the Application of English Law in the British Virgin Islands